An open letter to Ijaz Butt
Dear Butt Saab,
I must confess, wholeheartedly enough, that I am a big admirer of the way you’ve run Pakistani cricket. Quite professionally, to the best of my knowledge. Equally, you have done an awful lot for Pakistani cricket, both within the country and the larger international stage. Your tenure as the Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman, a post you largely acquired by a typical sub-continental virtue of jugaad, is perhaps hailed as the Golden Age of Pakistani cricket, leaving behind mortals like Abdul Hafeez Kardar who did nothing.
You have presided over a period in Pakistan cricket, which was full of achievements galore. A terrorist attack on a visiting team, the small matter of your team actually winning something — some T20 competition in England, the World Cup being taken away from your country and some big international conspiracy by Hindus, Americans, Jews and heck, the goras to defraud Pakistan cricket. From being a former Test cricketer, a wicketkeeper, at the least one of Kamran Akmal’s earliest predecessors, you have now emerged as the face and tone of Pakistani cricket, which to me is quite an achievement, sir.
Your statements over the past few days, have at the least done more for Pakistani cricket, than Imran Khan’s World Cup win, Pakistan’s first ever Test win under Kardar and of course Younis Khan’s WT20 win, for which you rightly claimed credit.
I shudder to imagine if they too were products of a larger international conspiracy to help Pakistani cricket reach its zenith. I wonder if Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis were a part of a larger conspiracy to terrorize batsmen. Of course, they were, for you believe everything is a conspiracy to ‘defraud Pakistan‘!
For the want of a harsher sentence, I hope your very existence isn’t an international conspiracy to defraud Pakistani cricket, but I shall humbly submit that you are a conspiracy to defraud Pakistani cricket. After all, life is a conspiracy, isn’t it?
Having established your credentials and existence as a conspiracy, let me come down to the trivial business of your latest statements. First and foremost, I thought you said something, and I heard something, didn’t I? Or are my ears conspiring to defraud Pakistan cricket? I hope not.
Then, didn’t you just say that ‘the loud call from the bookies circle is that some England players were paid stacks of cash to throw away the game against Pakistan’? I thought you did, and rightly so. And of course, what you did imply through that statement, which you woke up, smelt the coffee and claimed you didn’t, was that Umar Gul’s supposedly brilliant spell was for nothing? Or was that a con…you-know-what-I-mean. Come on, Butt saab, you could do better. Of course, you will deny all of this, but isn’t that how it is scripted to be?
Oh Butt saab, how could you demand the removal of, Haroon Lorgat as ICC CEO, when you have shown immense faith in yourself? When time and again, there have been calls for your removal and don’t get me wrong here, by newspapers like The Nation of all things? You stoically state,’Why should I resign, these are merely allegations at me? Not a single one is proved against me?’
Sorry, hypocrisy doesn’t sound too good on you. I humbly submit for you are the doyen of integrity, accountability and all things credible in Pakistani cricket, aren’t you? And that, you’ve now emerged as the self-appointed savior of Pakistani cricket against the wishes of the evil forces, of course you know them, saab.
Lastly, I humbly hope that President Asif Zardari gives you an extension once your tenure is up for renewal, and no, that I assume wouldn’t be a conspiracy to defraud Pakistan. Even if he doesn’t, I think you have left your mark and a legacy which many have failed during their heydays in the PCB Chairman’s post. I think Pakistan cricket needs you more than you need Pakistan cricket. And more than Pakistan cricket, it is people like us, dedicated admirers of your infectious personality who need you. I hope, you are not one of those with fake degrees and that your blood relations with the little known Defence Minister of Pakistan are put to good use in October. Here’s wishing you a long life and many more years of service to Pakistan cricket.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.