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Pakistan's senators demand sacking of incapable PCB

cricket Updated: Feb 10, 2009 10:58 IST

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Pakistani senators on Monday demanded that President Asif Ali Zardari sack the cricket board, branding its officials incapable and accusing them of making a mess of the national game.

The senate committee on sport held a highly-charged session to probe falling standards of the national cricket team, fears of bankruptcy in the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and reasons why its director general resigned.

Pakistan crashed to their lowest one-day score at home when they were dismissed for 75 in the series-deciding one-day match against Sri Lanka in Lahore last month which led to their heaviest defeat in limited overs cricket by 234 runs.

In the aftermath, captain Shoaib Malik was replaced by senior batsman Younus Khan.

"Financial mismanagement has been there for a long time now, but this current set-up of the PCB is incapable and if they remain in charge, cricket will be completely destroyed," Senator Enver Baig told reporters.

"I request the President to reconsider the appointment of Ijaz Butt as chairman," said Baig. Butt was appointed PCB chairman last October.

"Good cricketers cannot be good administrators and so it's proved," he said.

"Butt's appointment was political and we request the president to change it," Senator Tahir Mashhadi told the meeting.

Another senator said fears that the PCB was going bankrupt were false.

"The current bank balance of the PCB is 2.7 billion (34.15 million dollars) and so fears of the PCB going bankrupt were unfounded," said Haroon Akhtar.

Butt claimed last month that PCB's reserves had fallen from 3.3 billion to 1.5 billion rupees over the past two years after several teams refused to tour Pakistan over security fears.

Akhtar also refuted Butt's claims that renovation of Gaddafi Stadium, in the eastern city of Lahore and the biggest in Pakistan, had run over budget.

"We had summoned the architect and former chief operating officer Shafqat Naghmi who told the house that the project can be completed in 31 million rupees and not in 47 million as claimed by the PCB," said Akhtar.

Referring to PCB director general Javed Miandad's resignation last month, Butt told the house that the former great's appointment was a "big mistake."

"I accept that appointing Miandad without a valid contract was the biggest mistake of my life. Miandad was demanding 1.6 million rupees (20,000 dollars) which was not acceptable," said Butt.

Miandad was appointed director general in November but resigned protesting that he had been unable to change the structure of Pakistan cricket.

"I did not resign over money," he told the meeting.

"The scope of work given to me initially was totally different from the one which was written in my contract. The PCB wanted to confine me to domestic affairs which was not acceptable to me," Miandad added.