Brit lawyer advised Butt to retract “match throwing” comments

Lahore: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ejaz Butt withdrew his “England match throwing” comments after discussing the pros and cons of the case with his British lawyer.

In the first response to the England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) legal notice, the PCB had resolved to fight the case in court of law, and even forwarded the notice to its England lawyers- Addleshaw Goddard- for legal opinion in this regard, the Dawn reported.

However, Goddard showed some reservations in his legal opinion, which forced Butt not to go to court against the ECB, and instead settle for a withdrawal of his controversial statement, sources said.

Earlier, PCB’s lawyer Taffazul Hyder Rizvi had vowed in a press statement that the PCB was ready to defend its position on the issue in any court.

However, Butt’s retraction came soon after he flew to London to discuss with his lawyers the course of action over the ECB’s warning to begin defamation proceedings against the PCB.

It is noteworthy that despite the worst-ever crisis being faced by the PCB after reaching a conflict-like situation with the ICC and the ECB, only Rizvi accompanied Butt to England, while key officials including Chief Operating Officer Wasim Bari, Director General Javed Miandad and Director Cricket International Zakir Khan were snubbed for the four to five days’ tour.

Sources revealed that the PCB had not taken its Governing Board into confidence on any of the issues, as Butt was trying to tackle the matter on his own.

Earlier, in a TV interview, Butt had claimed that "there is loud and clear talk in bookie circles that some English players were paid enormous amounts of money to lose" the third ODI match played against Pakistan at The Oval on September 17.

In response, the ECB had demanded a ‘full and unreserved apology’ as well as financial compensation for the damages caused, and warned “if a satisfactory response was not received, legal proceedings will be commenced against him without further notice.”