Butt: Player power stamped out

2011-05-12 11:13

Karachi - Player power in Pakistan cricket had damaged team spirit but board (PCB) chairperson Ijaz Butt said he has succeeded in crushing it.

"Let me assure you that players' power, though present in the past, does not exist in the national team at the moment as I have taken severe actions to eradicate it," Butt said in an interview with Dawn daily newspaper.

"To crush player power I penalised even prominent players like Younis Khan, Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik and Kamran Akmal without showing any reluctance, which in the past had damaged the team spirit."

Blooding new players had helped reduce the influence of senior figures in the team, he added.

Pakistan cricket has been troubled by indiscipline and marred by controversies over the last two years, and its image took a beating when Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir were banned for at least five years on charges of spot-fixing on the tour of England last year.

In June last year the PCB handed out bans or fines to six prominent players on the tour of Australia.

Butt said the PCB was now in a much better financial position than when he took over as chairman in late 2008.

"When I took over we had just 1.6 billion rupees ($18.8 million) in the reserve and owed around 1 billion to different parties."

The PCB now had reserves of around 3.2 billion rupees even though it had not hosted a foreign team since mid 2009, he added.

If India resumed bilateral cricket ties with Pakistan the financial health of the PCB would improve further he said, adding that there was a strong possibility they might play a split series this year including limited over games at neutral venues and tests in Pakistan.