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April 21, 2010
Former Pakistan captain Aamer Sohail has hit out at PCB chairman Ijaz Butt, over the controversy surrounding the selection of replacements for the World Twenty20 tournament. First-choice players Umar Gul and Yasir Arafat were ruled out with injuries at the eleventh hour, following which Butt rejected the selection committee and team management's choice for one of the two replacements.
"I must say that this one-man show will have to be stopped," Sohail was quoted in the News. "It's the chief selector's job to pick players in consultation with the captain and coach. But unfortunately it is the PCB who is calling all the shots. If you have to make all the decisions then why have you appointed these people. There should be distribution of power otherwise we can't have any improvement in our cricket."
Shahid Afridi, Waqar Younis and Mohsin Khan - the team's captain, coach and chief selector respectively - held press conferences naming Mohammad Sami and Mohammad Irfan as the replacements, without Butt's approval. The lack of communication is believed to have irked Butt, who later over-ruled the selection, picking Abdur Rehman ahead of Irfan. Sohail was critical of the manner in which Butt handled the matter.
"If you don't want the chief selector and coach to do their jobs then why are you throwing away money by paying them salaries? It will be better for Pakistan cricket if all these players are fired because it will help the PCB chairman in his drive to cut down costs," Sohail said.
This is not the first time Sohail has gone against Butt - the former opener had served as the director of Pakistan's National Cricket Academy, before quitting in July 2009, over differences with Butt, who was the PCB chairman then as well.
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