This is the first time that anyone puts Butt on back-foot and who that could be except Mr. Boom Boom. Butt’s only qualification for becoming chairman cricket board was his strong relationship with political leadership. He played his whole innings only because of this very reason and now he claims that using political influence on PCB’s internal matters is unfair and will damage Pakistan cricket. Afridi’s first googlie put the chairman on back-foot. And there is a lot more to come… Afridi has not played his trump card yet.
Butt’s on the ground and off the field record shows that he has never been beneficial for Pakistan cricket but his relationship with political leadership earned this place to him. To be chairman of Pakistan cricket board, one does not need to have a successful background. The only qualification of this chair is to be a good friend of the ruling party.
In last 25 years, Pakistan cricket board has seen chairmen like Gen. Zahid Ali Akbar, Naseem Hassan Shah, Mujeeb ur Rehman, Gen. Tauqeer Zia, Shehryar Khan, Naseem Ashraf and then Ijaz Butt. They were not selected (as per constitution, PCB chairman should be elected) on the basis of their experience of administration, knowledge about cricket, leadership qualities or experience of foreign affairs but they were selected purely on the basis of their strong relationship with the ruling parties. This is a pity but this is how it is and Butt is no exception.
Butt is someone who never likes to be opposed or challenged. He removed Shoaib Malik because he was appointed by Nasim Ashraf’s management. He appointed and removed 9 captains and 3 selection committee chairmen with his one pen stroke. Yousuf’s cricket is over. He could not even protest properly. Younis, somehow, tried to fight for his right but he could not make it until he visited Butt and said “sorry” for something he never did.
Afridi is neither Yousuf nor Younis. He has strong brain muscles, excellent track record, public support, charisma and an off-the-field fighting spirit which most of the players lacked. And most interestingly, what keeps Butt awake all the nights is his relationship with political leadership. He met Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and talked to Nawaz Sharif over the phone and discussed his matter. He emerged as a political leader by saying that he wants hearing of his case in the presence of media and his fans. He received heroic welcome when he landed here in Pakistan. The language of Afridi’s letter to PCB which was sent by his lawyer carries a very loud expression. It is a reaction to PCB’s confused allegations and clearly speaks that Afridi is not going to give up this time.
Afridi has a charismatic personality and influential relationship with the political leadership and the public. He has been dropped from the team on number of occasions but always made an effective come back with his exceptional performance. His track record shows that he is mentally tough and goes to any extent to get what he deserves. He never played any negative tactics in his career deliberately. He remained positive to Pakistan cricket throughout, even bookies could not get his services unlike a lot of world class cricketers (Mazhar Majeed said the same once) but now he is seeking help from political leadership to save his career and future of Pakistan cricket. Butt thinks it is unfair but Butt… “Everything is fair in love and war”. Now see where Booming Afridi takes you…