The one and only Ijaz Butt is back on the scene to give his expert leadership and guidence in the Spot-Fixing scandal currently dominating cricket. Butt is just the man you need in the middle of a crisis, who better to steady the ship and calm the waters than the PCB Chairman. I suppose it was inevitable that as leader of the PCB, he would raise his ugly head at some stage, but for some reason or another I had forgotten about him.
Maybe I sub-consciously thought that there is no way this man could still be involved in Pakistani cricket, but obviously I was wrong.
It would appear that Butt is defending his men and looking for a fight. Both the England team (speaking through the Professional Cricketers Association), and ICC have made it fairly clear that they don’t want the three accused to play in the upcoming limited overs series.
Butt though has different ideas, he claims that no one has been found guilty and as a result he is not prepared to suspend anyone, and is giving the indication that he wants the three to carry on playing until the issue is resolved.
Diplomacy at its best.
I have a feeling that this could end up becoming a major issue by the weekend. The England players seem to have made it clear that they don’t wish to compete with anyone under investigation, so if Butt continues to dig his heels in there could be a bit of a stand-off.
The ECB will obviously have no intention of losing revenues and calling the games off as a matter of principle. The thought of that would mean someone having to take Giles Clarke’s laces and belt from him.
For Ijaz Butt to be coming out with remarks like “This is only an allegation. There is still no charge or proof on that account. So at this stage there will be no action taken.” shows that he wants to fight his corner, and in his defence it could be argued that they should be classed as innocent until proven guilty.
But from a diplomatic point of view, it is the usual two fingered salute from Butt. The better and the good of the game of cricket on the whole still dosen’t rank too highly on Butt’s priority list.
I await with great interest his next intervention. Maybe he will claim it is all a set up and an act of revenge from his old mate Chris Broad. One thing is for sure, it will be somebody else’s fault.