PCB satisfied with team`s performance in World Cup: Butt

Updated: Apr 08, 2011, 14:02 PM IST

Lahore: Pakistan Cricket Board chief Ejaz Butt on Friday expressed satisfaction at the performance of the national team in the World Cup as it reached the semifinals despite the preparations hit hard by scandals and controversies.

"In that context I am very satisfied with the way the team has performed in the World Cup to reach the semifinal. The players and management have shown lot of character to do so well when virtually everybody had written them off as title contenders," Butt said.

He hoped that the performance of the team in the World Cup would eventually help Pakistan convince other boards to send their teams here for international matches.

Pakistan lost to arch-rivals India in the semifinals at Mohali. They had defeated Australia in the league stage and topped their group.

Butt said that Pakistan could have won the World Cup if the team had the opportunity of playing international matches at home.

"I think the fact that our team has not been able to play at home since 2009 has also affected our progress and preparations for the World Cup and also our performances. It makes a big difference when players get a chance to play regular international matches at home," he said.

It was in Butt`s tenure that militants attacked the Sri Lankan team in Lahore in March, 2009 leaving six Pakistani policemen dead and wounding five visiting players.

The attack sounded the death knell for Pakistan cricket as since then foreign teams have refused to tour the country and the ICC also shifted the World Cup matches out of Pakistan.

"We have no choice but to play our `home` series at neutral venues to keep our cricket going but it is a fact that this is something that has hit our progress and growth as a top team," he said.

Butt noted that the Indo-Pakistan semifinal in Mohali had broken the ice and would eventually lead the way to resumption of bilateral cricket ties with India.

Asked about the decision to omit fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar from the semifinal, Butt said this was a decision taken by the tour selection committee and management who felt Wahab Riaz was a better choice for the high-voltage match.