PCB has crushed players` power, claims Butt

Karachi: The Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ejaz Butt has claimed that he has successfully stamped out players` power in the national team.

"To crush player power I penalised even prominent players like Younis Khan, Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik and Kamran Akmal without showing any reluctance which in the past had damaged the team spirit," Butt told the `Dawn` newspaper.

"Let me assure you that players power of the past does not exist in the national team at the moment as I have taken severe actions to eradicate it," he insisted.

Butt, who has been the PCB chairman since October 2008, said the main reasons behind players` power was the attitude of some senior players.

He said the PCB introduced a number of new players in the side and took strict action against undisciplined seniors.

He noted that in the past Afridi and Younis had also developed differences but he had made it clear to the duo that they would be dropped from the team if they did not mend their ways.

Reminded about the ongoing feud between captain Afridi and coach Waqar Younis during the just-concluded ODI series in the ongoing tour to West Indies, Butt said he was waiting for the manager`s tour report to initiate any action.

"An undisciplined person whether he is a player or official will face punishment at the end of the tour," he added.

The PCB has also issued a show cause notice to Afridi for going public with internal matters of the team.

He also made it clear that chief selector Mohsin Khan would not be sparred if he was found to have made his views public regarding the issue of selection problems for the West Indies tour.

Butt said while the existing selection system was not perfect, it suited Pakistan.

The selection policies of PCB have come under scrutiny after Mohsin Khan and Afridi have both expressed displeasure over the interference of Waqar in selection of tour squads and the final playing elevens.

Butt also admitted that on some occasions he had differed with the national selectors and had used his constitutional powers as head of the board to make changes in the team.

"I asked them to review the selections and if they didn`t review it, I used my constitutional powers," he admitted.

Butt also claimed that the financial position of the PCB had improved in the last few months.

He said presently the board had reserves of around 3.2 billion rupees even though Pakistan had not played any international series at home since 2009.

"When I took over the board I had reserves of just 1.6 billion rupees and we owed around one billion to different parties. But now the position is much better," the PCB chief claims.

Butt said if the Indian team tour Pakistan or play a 0bilateral series, the financial health of the PCB would improve further.

"A meeting in this regard is going to be held in June. As the Indian Prime Minister has given the green signal for the tour, I am very hopeful about it," he stated.

He said the tour would be possible this year if it was split into two phases with the Tests in Pakistan and T20 and ODIs at any neutral venue.


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