July 29, 2009

Ijaz Butt on the way out


By Syed Khalid Mahmood

There are some strong indications of late that Ijaz Butt, who was appointed the Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) last October, may not be able to complete even one year in office.

Having promised much and delivered little, the PCB Chairman is likely to lose his job in not too distant future until and unless there are some dramatic moves and change of mind at the Presidency.

The ouster of Ijaz Butt will not come as a surprise. Neither would anyone feel hurt when he is booted out mainly because of his attitude problem that has cost him some of his nearest and dearest friends lately.

It’s quite amazing to find him ditching his trusted friends. He is not even sparing those mates who stood by him when he was not in power. He is believed to be misbehaving and annoying his closest of friends who have become increasingly fed up with him and might part ways soon.

Ijaz Butt may have committed blunders in his life but his latest act of humiliating his trustworthy friends could cost him much more than the job at the PCB. May be he considers the chairmanship of the Board as the most important thing for him but I am sure he has missed a trick here.

By the look of things one gets the impression that Ijaz Butt has an assurance from his brother-in-law, an influential leader of the ruling party, of his job being secure and he’s not afraid to overlook and ignore all others around him.

Even the Federal Sports Minister, Pir Syed Aftab Hussain Shah Jilani, who was not only one of the key figures in having him installed as the PCB Chairman but also defended him out way whenever he committed mistakes, appears to have quietly withdrawn the support.

Pir Aftab Jilani, who is such a thorough gentleman, has not expressed his displeasure openly yet but one can read between the lines that the Federal Minister has not been accorded the respected he deserved by the sitting PCB Chairman.

Everyone is not as forgiving as Pir Aftab Jilani and there are a few hard nuts to crack in the corridors of power reportedly moving against Ijaz Butt after being offended and shown disrespect.

The stories have started doing rounds that Ijaz Butt could soon face the wrath of the PCB Chief Patron and the President of President of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, who is unhappy with his performance.

Sources in the sports ministry and the government have already confirmed that a comprehensive report on the performance of the PCB during Ijaz Butt's tenure would be submitted to the Chief patron soon.

The newspapers have started reporting that there’s a lot of disappointment in the Presidency and Ministry over the way cricket matters are being handled by Ijaz Butt.

The feeling in the officialdom is growing that Ijaz Butt is too old and does not have the temperament to represent Pakistan in international cricket forums or foster better relations with member countries. In simple words they are now convinced that he’s not the man for the job.

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