Karachi: Called a “buffoon” by former ICC CEO Malcolm Speed but Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Ijaz Butt has refused to react to the stinging comment.
Speed, reacting strongly to the rejection of former Australian Prime Minister John Howard’s candidacy for the ICC vice-president’s post by the Asian bloc, described Butt as a “buffoon.”
Speed also described cricket in Pakistan as “a basket case”. But the PCB and Butt chose to remain mum on the criticism.
“We will not comment on Speed’s statement at this time we are in the process of confirming the statement carried in the Australian media,” spokesman Nadeem Sarwar said.
Butt is presently in Singapore attending ICC meetings and sources in the board said until he gave instructions, the PCB would not issue any rebuttal to Speed’s comments.
“There is no proper system in the board and Butt calls all the shots and until he says so there will be no reaction,” one source noted.
But the Chairman of the National Assembly standing committee on sports Iqbal Muhammad Khan said Speed’s comments were in bad taste and disappointing.
“He has no right to interfere in the internal affairs of our cricket or even that of Bangladesh, the PCB should take this up strongly with the ICC and Cricket Australia as Speed is a former official of both bodies,” Iqbal said.
He, however, conceded the controversies that Pakistan cricket finds itself in because of poor management, gives outsiders a chance to make negative remarks.
“It is most unfortunate and we also need to put our own house in order,” he said.
Former Test captain Zaheer Abbas said he was surprised by Speed’s comments.
“It is unbecoming of a former ICC official to make such comments. I hope the PCB takes up the matter seriously and demands an apology from Speed through Cricket Australia,” he said.
Another former captain Rashid Latif said whatever the internal problems of Pakistan cricket, no one had any right to make such personal comments.
“If I was Butt I would sue Speed for defamation,” he said.