KheloPakistan.com’s Syed Basir Raza recently met with Pakistan Cricket Board's former chairman Ijaz Butt. Appointed as Chairman in October 2008, Butt's tenure saw a lot of controversies and a little success for cricket in the country. During 3 years, Butt faced problems with many officials and players including Javed Miandad, Younis Khan, Shahid Afridi, the ECB, the cricket council of USA, the ICC and even the Senate. He sacked the national selection committee, the COO of the PCB and banned and fined seven Pakistani players in the after-math of their tour of Australia in the 2009-10 season. Butt also over-saw the board during the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan Cricket team in Lahore in 2009 (after which internation cricket was banned in Pakistan) and the spot-fixing saga in England in 2010.
On the plus side, Pakistan won their first ever ICC T20 World Cup in 2009, reached the semi-final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 and Misbah-ul-Haq was appointed as the team's Captain in tests, and later on in all formats. This is what happened when Basir spoke to the former chairman:
The 3rd wicket partnership stand for both sides is a highly significant one. Amla and Kallis are South Africa’s best players and Azhar and Younis are Pakistan’s best players as the batting goes, specifically with regards to technique in defence and accumulating runs. Both number 3 and 4 batsmen respectively have an outstanding partnership record together and have a thorough understanding in the middle in developing partnerships. Azhar and Younis will always be remembered for piling on over 200 in just over 2 sessions against England in Dubai around this time last year. 22 wickets had fallen in the space of 4 sessions, however these two then got together to set out their stall, rein themselves in, churn out the runs, wear the Number 1s down and prolong the duration of the innings to make the process mentally and physically draining for Strauss and company as well as allowing their match winning bowlers some rest up in the pavilion. Younis was the main scorer, however Azhar came into his own by holding up an end, spending time in the middle and not giving a sniff of a chance to England’s bowler to dislodge him while Younis was beginning to flow fluently at the other end. To bat 2 FULL sessions without losing a wicket in a series where ball had dominated bat and wickets had fallen in clusters was a remarkable occurrence.
Cricket is no more the game it was a decade ago, the introduction of the T20 format enticed a large chunk of people and later the extravagant leagues by various cricket playing countries added more spice to the affair. India took the lead in this regard by launching the Indian Premier League (IPL), which is getting better and better with the passage of time. Whether the IPL is serving the game of Cricket or not is debatable, however, the fact remains that every cricketer desires to be a part of this cash-rich competition.
After India, various other nations launched their own brands of T20 leagues and now Pakistan is also thinking on the same lines. In fact the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has already announced the basic structure of the league – Pakistan Super League (PSL) -which is scheduled to begin in last week of March this year.
For Pakistan, the importance of its own brand of such tournaments – PSL – is completely different from other nations. If India, Bangladesh or Sri Lanka launche a league then they would primarily have to focus on one aspect, the financial one. But the PCB is facing two huge challenges in this connection. One is of course the financial aspect like others but the more daunting task is to persuade foreign players to make the proposed event colourful as well as successful.
The PCB has appointed Salman Sarwar Butt as the Managing Director and Haroon Lorgat as the Consultant for the Pakistan Super League and I am sure a lot of other people are also working very hard to make the venture successful, but to confront the two challenges, financial and security issues, a two-pronged strategy is the need of the hour for the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
KARACHI: The left-arm paceman of Pakistan, Junaid Khan, who is still in his early days, has made an impression with his recent performances especially in India. Still fresh from his impressive effort against the arch-rival, the promising youngster is upbeat to perform even better in South Africa. “Their top five batsmen are world class and I am not targeting anyone specific. I keep things simple and give my 100 per cent every time I get a chance to bowl.” said Junaid Khan while talking to this correspondent for News One TV.
“I have worked hard at the training camp, and with the help of the video analyst, keenly observed the strengths and weaknesses of the South Africans”, adds the left-arm fast bowler.