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Will Ijaz Butt go this time?

I see that former ICC member Ehsan Mani of Pakistan is demanding the resignation of Ijaz Butt, blaming Butt and the PCB for their part in (as he calls it) the end of the careers of the three players suspended today.

Ultimately the three players took the bait themselves, there can be no doubt about that and they have to take a good look at themselves and accept responsibility for their own actions. But I do believe that the PCB must also accept their fair share of the blame.

Afterall it happened under their supervision. It also happen under Ijaz Butt’s watch. Can Butt and the PCB really claim to have done as much as possible to prevent this?

The answer is clearly no. Otherwise why did ICC feel the need to issue them with a stern warning last October and tell them to toughen up their attitude towards corruption?

If this happened in England, I’m sure that the top brass at the ECB would be expected to fall on their swords – although looking at the current incumbents and their track records, I’m not 100% sure they would.

Imran Khan has repeatedly called for change at the top of Pakistan cricket, maybe this is the incident to finally make people there wake up and rid the PCB of all the dead wood and to start running it like a professional organisation.

They have a chance now to wipe the slate clean and show that they are serious about stamping corruption out. Lets hope they take it.

World cricket needs Pakistan, but not as much as Pakistan needs world cricket.
A decent Pakistan team that people believed in, with the raw talent they have at their disposal would make world cricket a far better and stronger place.

But people would have to be able to believe in them, believe what they are watching to be true, as without that trust we have no game.

This has been a shameful event for cricket, I will never forget the sight of Michael Holding all but breaking down in tears live on Sky Sports while discussing this scandal the day it broke.

Here was a cricketing legend, a big strong minded guy, reduced to tears about what was happening to the game he loves. It was an awful sight.

The most worrying aspect of all this, is that some people still don’t seem to get it. I have already read a report where people in Pakistan are claiming that the three are totally innocent. In fact reading the remarks made by a couple of the lawyers, I’m not sure that the tribunal totally get it either.

The fact that the tribunal wrote in it’s report that it recommended to the ICC certain changes to the Code with a view to providing flexibility in relation to minimum sentences in exceptional circumstances, is worrying. So far this has already given two of the lawyers the belief that their clients would have got leaner sentences had they had the power to do so.

They have all basically got the minimum 5 year tariffs, never mind the headline grabing 10 years ban for Salman Butt, he could be back playing in another four and a half years.

Rather than being thankful that they didn’t get the worst case scenarios of life bans, they would appear to be off the opinion that they have been treated harshly. So far Amir’s lawyer has already come out and said he will appeal, Butt’s has intimated that he will also do so. How long before Asif as well? Unbelievable.

Would your cricket loving Buddies enjoy this?


  1. Butt and his cronies are a disgrace. Look at him sucking up to the ICC now saying that he agrees with what happened. You were complicit in it mate!

    I think some fault lies with the ICC also. With all the things they supposedly have in place to stop such thing occurring, it took a newspaper to do a simple sting to expose one of the biggest cricketing scandals. The other point related to the ICC is that in the past they never were harsh enough when it came to match fixing so it hardly made players think twice. Just a shame they have to been seen to come down hard now when there is the career of such an amazing talent on the line.

  2. Thats true Stani, ICC aren’t innocent in all this. I forgot to mention them.

    They can’t be held responsible for the actions of every player, but they are the ruling body and should have taken a more proactive approach with the PCB.

    They took to long to take the lead role in all this – just like they are currently doing with the problems with the UDRS system.

    They are the ruling body for christ sake, they should have been one step ahead and had already identified where the likely problems would come from, and set wheels in motion to try and prevent it.

    As prevention is definately better than cure with this issue.

    I do wonder with Amir, if he has got dragged into this, (in the way I suspect he did) then he has been badly let down and is probably unlucky. I wrote on a blog somewhere recently, that he probably didn’t have a clue of the significance of what he was doing.

    He probably thought it was just a couple of no-balls, no real big deal.

    Thats why I am now coming to the conclusion that Salman Butt is a total disgrace. The more I think about this, the more I think Butt has got off very lightly. He was the captain, he should have been looking after Amir, not dragging a young kid into things.

    I’m not sure whether it is insulting or not to say that maybe Amir is uneducated and therefore didn’t really know how serious what he did, is. Do you think that is a fair call Stani?

  3. Yep Dean, the ICC are too much of a bystander for a governing body. In my view, the boards have too much power. Will this ever change? I doubt it because why would India for example want to give up the power they currently hold? Unless the majority of boards are of the view that the ICC should hold more power, then I don’t think much will change.

    In terms of your Amir point; I think all three of the players did not take the gravity of their crime seriously. And I would say it was more a cultural issue than just a education one (the education aspect would probably fit under the umbrella of culture). From the outside, it is probably difficult to understand though, but to those from that part of the world, it is clear. You’re right, they certainly thought ‘They’re just a couple of no-balls’. And the same thing that made them think that, is the same thing that makes them think that fielding is not that important, or taking singles is not important, or keeping to one side of the road when driving is not important, or it’s ok to spit in the street etc etc.

    They genuinely probably did believe that they had done very little wrong. I don’t want to be seen as being critical, because there is a lot wrong in that country that is not the fault of it’s citizens, and every nation takes time to develop civility. Pakistan is of course a relatively young country. I’m sure the punishment and how huge the story was must have come as a genuine surprise to the players.

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