Spot-fixing biggest disappointment of my tenure: Butt

Karachi: The PCB chief Ejaz Butt has admitted that the spot-fixing episode involving Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamir still hurts him a lot and remains the biggest disappointment of his tenure.

Former Test player Butt said that he considered losing three players to the spot-fixing scandal as the biggest letdown since he took over as the Chairman of the Board in October, 2008.

"It hurt a lot especially when I came to know the details that they were responsible for spot-fixing. Although initially when we spoke to them they swore on oath they were not involved and were innocent," said Butt.

Butt informed that according to the ICC regulations, the accounts of Aamir had been frozen.

"We suggested giving them a monthly stipend while holding their money but the ICC refused," he said.

Butt said Salman Butt`s involvement had come as a shock as he was certain to lead Pakistan for a long time.

"He had the educational background, grooming and performances to carry on as captain. He would have solved our captaincy problems. But he did a very stupid thing."

The PCB Chairman said, in the current spectrum of players in Pakistan cricket, he saw Misbah-ul-Haq as the best man to lead the team in all three formats of the game.

"To be successful as captain you need to have the required grooming, education and certainty of place in the team," said Butt.

He also said that in his view Shoaib Malik could walk into the national team on basis of performances once he was cleared by the integrity committee of the board.

"In my opinion he can walk into the team. He came to me thrice and I told him that `I am giving you brotherly advice -- the integrity committee is not against you and it wants to clear you but first you need to give satisfactory answers to what it want to know," said Butt.

"We still need him for the limited overs cricket as he is an ideal allrounder," he added.

Former Pakistan captain Malik has not played for Pakistan since last year due to his issues with the integrity committee that want him to explain where he got and spent 90,000 pounds found in his account.

Regarding leg-spinner Danish Kaneria, Butt said when he is cleared there is no guarantee he would walk into the team.

Butt, meanwhile, informed that Waqar Younis was not the first choice as a coach for the national team.

"We had two or three very good choices available to us but the problem is no foreigner is willing to come to Pakistan. They say they will work with the team maximum on foreign tours and that does not help us. The same thing is happening with a batting coach."

Butt said he considered the induction of new players in the national team and stress on junior and second string tours as his biggest achievements of his three-year tenure.

"The team is in a developing stage and the youngsters need to work hard. Unfortunately in Pakistan it is a culture that senior players want to play on forever. But we have found players who can continue for a long time and this has helped us in quashing players power as well."

Butt said that contrary to popular opinion, the board pay its players very well.

"What we pay them is at par with some countries and more than a few countries," he said.

Butt admitted that some of the things that the board did were unpleasant and lot of people will not approve it but in the long run they were necessary according to the advice of the ICC task team on Pakistan cricket.

Butt was also critical about the selection issues in Pakistan.

"The selection is not just bad but terrible from grassroots level and we get lot of complaints about the selection, umpiring in our country and this is our biggest problem.”

"The national selectors also need to spend more time on the field and they can`t just keep on selecting teams on basis of looking at performances on paper provided to them by the board," he said.

Stating that Pakistan can achieve a lot as a cricketing nation, Butt said, "We have immense talent and if this is channelised properly we can be the world beaters. We are in a rebuilding process and we need people to cooperate with us in making this process a success."

About his own future, Butt said: "This is something I would not like to discuss because matter is still not clear. I have my opinion, my boss has his opinion and they are at conflict. But shortly before October one way or the other will be decided.”

"I have interest in cricket that is why I am working as the Chairman of the PCB but it is also a fact that I have suffered a lot as I hold certain important assignments and they have been affected," he explained.

Informing that the ICC task team had given the PCB a blueprint to improve its cricket structure and governance, Butt said, "90 per cent of the feedback had come from former England captain, Mike Brealy."


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