Sunday March 03, 2024

Wasim Akram urges PCB to 'be brave' after Salman Butt fiasco

"Board should be conscious of consequences of its decisions," says former skipper

By Web Desk
December 04, 2023
Pakistans former captain Wasim Akram. — Instagram/WasimAkram
Pakistan's former captain Wasim Akram. — Instagram/WasimAkram

Former skipper Wasim Akram Monday censured the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), telling the country's top cricketing body to be "brave" and conscious of the consequences of its decisions after the authority backtracked on its appointment of Salman Butt within 24 hours.

Akram took to social media platform X urging the board to think before making decisions [and not afterwards].

"You [PCB] should be aware of the consequences of your decision [...] Think before [you make a decision]. Be brave," he wrote on his X account.

The legendary pacer also advised the PCB to not "press conferences every three minutes" and to stick to the decisions that it makes.

The former star left-arm pacer was referring to the board's decision to appoint Butt — along with Kamran Akmal and Rao Iftikhar Anjum — as a “consultant member” to chief selector Wahab Riaz. The decision, however, didn't sit well with former cricketers and fans who lambasted the board for appointing the controversial figure to the board — leading to his dismissal the very next day.

Butt, for his role in the 2010 spot-fixing scandal, was sentenced to 30 months in prison and banned from playing for 10 years for being involved in conspiracy to bowl deliberate no-balls during a 2010 Test match against England at Lord's.

The decision to fire Butt was announced by chief selector Wahab Riaz who said that he had communicated to the former skipper that he could not be part of his team.

However, it was later revealed that the PCB reverted its earlier decision on the directions of caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar who stressed that the selection committee must be free from controversy, adding that the prime minister has directed for "well-reputed" and "non-controversial" selectors to be appointed for the post.

The Sultan of Swing — while commenting on newly appointed officials — underscored the significance of giving new management enough to prove their mettle.

"Let's give them one year [...] Mohammad] Hafeez has come in as director of cricket and coach, Riaz has come in as chief selector, Kamran Akmal and co. Give them some time, it's their turn."

Akram also wished good luck to the Pakistan cricket team ahead of their Test series against Australia.

It is to be noted that the Green Shirts — who have not won a match in Australia in nearly three decades — will lock horns with the Aussies in their three-match test series with the home side.

Australia squad: David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins (captain), Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood, Scott Boland, Cameron Green, Lance Morris

Pakistan squad: Shan Masood (captain), Aamir Jamal, Abdullah Shafique, Abrar Ahmed, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Khurram Shahzad, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Noman Ali, Saim Ayub, Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Saud Shakeel and Shaheen Shah Afridi

Australia tour schedule:

Four-day match: PM’s XI vs Pakistan – December 6-9: Manuka Oval, Canberra

1st Test – Australia vs Pakistan – December 14-18: Perth Stadium

2nd Test – Australia vs Pakistan – December 26-30: Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG)

3rd Test – Australia vs Pakistan – January 3-7: Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG)