Butt to return to Pakistan amid sacking rumours

Karachi: Embattled Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Ejaz Butt returns from London tomorrow amid rumours that the government has decided to sack him after a string of controversies, the most recent being the spot-fixing scandal.

Butt will return from London on Wednesday morning and sources say there might be some announcements coming from the President`s secretariat in the next 48 hours since President Asif Zardari is also the chief patron of the board.

Sources have told reporters that changes are definitely in the offing in the cricket set up but it is not clear what these changes might be.

"There is talk about the federal minister for defence, Chaudary Mukhtar Ahmed having held a meeting with the President recently in which the future of Butt was discussed since the two of them are closely related to each other and Mukhtar is said to have played a key role in getting Butt the key post in the first place two years ago," one source said.

An insider in the government pointed out that Butt, whose tenure expires this month, would be told to request the President to relieve him of the board duties due to ill health.

"Let us see what happens but definitely the situation is not very good for Butt and the President has been advised to instantly form an ad-hoc committee of technocrats and senior officials to run cricket affairs until the 2011 World Cup," the source said.

But another source insisted that Butt has been given a deadline of October 10 to restructure his team in the board or step down as head of the cricket set-up.

The names of former ICC President Ehsan Mani, a former federal minister for sports, Aftab Shah Jillani, a Pakistan Peoples Party stalwart, Tufail Sheikh are being circulated as those who will be in the new set up.

But Mani told Geo super that so far no one had made any offer to him to either to work as Chairman of the board or to be on an advisory committee.

"If Pakistan cricket requires my services I will be willing to help out. All that Pakistan cricket needs to stabilize is just good leadership that is all," Mani said.

Since the spot fixing scandal broke out on Pakistan team`s tour to England, former players and critics have all blamed Butt for mishandling the entire affair.