Pakistan news July 19, 2011

Informal Butt-ICC meeting slated for Lord's

ESPNcricinfo staff

PCB chairman Ijaz Butt is likely to have an informal discussion on the Pakistan Task Team's (PTT) report with the ICC's top brass and PTT members during the Lord's Test between England and India beginning on July 21. It will be the first, albeit unofficial, meeting between the PCB, the ICC and the PTT since the report was published.

"The chairman will be going to Lord's, although there is no formal meeting scheduled there," PCB's chief operating officer Subhan Ahmad told PTI. "But it is likely he will have informal discussions with ICC president [Sharad Pawar] and chief executive [Haroon Lorgat], and Giles Clarke, the head of the Task Team, and some of its members."

The Pakistan board, in its reply to the PTT's recommendations, had pointed out that apart from a short visit by Dave Richardson, the report had been prepared without the Task Team actually visiting Pakistan. It, the PCB response said, raised "serious questions on the observations given in the report". There have been reports of Clarke and Lorgat visiting Pakistan, and it could be one of the issues that come up at Lord's, according to Ahmad. "So far we have no official intimation about the Task Team visiting Pakistan soon, but at Lord's this could be discussed by the ICC and the Task Team with our chairman.

"We told the task team many times that they needed to visit Pakistan while compiling their report," Ahmad said, adding that the board would still welcome any proposed trips by members of the panel to Pakistan.

In a further sign of a potential thaw between the board and the ICC over the matter Ahmad said the board had only dismissed the recommendations it felt were redundant or based on inaccurate information. "The constructive recommendations and proposals by the task team which are good for Pakistan cricket are under consideration," Ahmad said. "We are looking at ways to implement them soon."

Ahmad dismissed suggestions that the PCB's initial cold response had soured relations with the ICC. "We appreciate the ICC and task team's intentions to help and support Pakistan cricket. Our relations remain very good and there is no confrontation on this matter," he said.

The ICC set up the Task Team, following the attacks on the touring Sri Lankan team in Lahore in March 2009, to look into reviving Pakistan's reputation as an international cricket host. Since then, the parameters of the PTT have grown to take in integrity and governance issues. At the ICC's annual conference in June, the PTT had presented a 38-page report listing 63 far-reaching recommendations, which included changes to the board's administration, to the process of selection, managerial appointments, the central contracts pool and even the kind of ball used in domestic cricket.