Cornered Butt clips Bari`s wings

Karachi: With pressure mounting on Ejaz Butt, the PCB chief went into a damage control mode and clipped the wings of his chief operating officer Wasim Bari, one of his most trusted men.

In a major upheaval in the board, Butt has taken away the administrative powers of former Test captain Bari and given it to Subhan Ahmed who has been appointed senior general manager.

Butt in another significant move also instructed the human resources department to report to Subhan Ahmed.

Bari has been blamed for playing a key role in sidelining former Test captains and players, Salim Altaf, Javed Miandad, Abdul Qadir and Aamir Sohail.

While Altaf was removed as CEO and Bari was elevated from GM human resources to his position, Qadir and Sohail had resigned as chief selector and head of game development last year after differences with the Chairman.

Miandad who was brought into the board with great fanfare as head of cricket affairs and advisor on cricket to the Chairman is restricted to just coaching assignments and looking after domestic cricket.

Observers blame Bari for creating misunderstandings between Butt and the these former players leading to their exits or reduction of power.

But sources said these changes were unlikely to save Butt in the long run as there was a lot of discontent against him in the government circles.

"The heads of the Senate and National Assembly standing committees have openly complained about him and urged his removal in communications to President Asif Zardari who is chief patron of the board," one source said.

He said Butt, who enjoys great political clout in the present government because of defence minister Chaudhary Mukhtar Ahmed who is a close relative, has sensed something is wrong and is now taking damage control steps.

"Butt`s recent allegation that two members of the Senate committee were blackmailing the board into paying outstanding money to a construction company have not gone in his favor," one source said.

Since he took over as Chairman, Butt has changed four captains, two head coaches, two chief financial officers and three chief selectors highlighting the inconsistency in his policies and making him a target of critics.

Butt`s insistence on giving important positions to his close friend Yawar Saeed has also not helped his cause in the government circles.