An open letter to Ijaz Butt

Published: September 26, 2010

Sir, your tenure is perhaps hailed as the Golden Age of Pakistani cricket. PHOTO: EPA

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.

Yours Conspiratorially…

venkat.ananth

Venkat Ananth

A freelance journalist based in Mumbai. His interests include cricket, football, international relations and blogging at vadapavgleanings.wordpress.com

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • http://www.tanzeel.wordpress.com Tanzeel

    Butt Saab is no different than the head of commonwealth games organizing committee of India.Recommend

  • Umer

    Ijaz butt has defamed Pakistan cricket to the core.He should be ashamed of himself.Recommend

  • http://deleted Sajjad Ahmed

    Mr Suresh Kalmadi, the Chairman of the CWG Committee who is the executive head and chief administrator for the event, also confirmed the same while speaking to a local news channel.

    ‘England, Canada, Ireland etc complained about the state of the Games Village. Let me tell you now, we have done extensive investigation into this matter and have arrested two Pakistani nationals from the site who had littered the players residential units with graffiti. Both were found to be carrying Lashkar-e-Tayba ID cards complete with serial numbers, barcodes and advanced data chips. They also left the toilets unflushed and it was obviously embarassing when the forward committees of these nations visited to inspect yesterday. Rest assured we have everything in control and will be DNA testing the samples collected from the toilet bowls, which will confirm Pakistani involvement in this great Indian embarrassment. They have literally pissed on our party’, said Kalmadi while speaking to NDTV.

    Now, this is one height of conspiracy, Buck up Mr.Kalmadi
    lets open our eyes again Mr. Venkat !Recommend

  • http://deleted Nadir Ali

    Well, I’d back Mr. Ijaz Butt for his freedom of speech !!
    Neverthless, he could have targeted the English Media rather than the players !Recommend

  • http://deleted Sajjad Ahmed

    Mr Suresh Kalmadi, the Chairman of the CWG Committee who is the executive head and chief administrator for the event, also confirmed the same while speaking to a local news channel.
    ‘England, Canada, Ireland etc complained about the state of the Games Village. Let me tell you now, we have done extensive investigation into this matter and have arrested two Pakistani nationals from the site who had littered the players residential units with graffiti. Both were found to be carrying Lashkar-e-Tayba ID cards complete with serial numbers, barcodes and advanced data chips. They also left the toilets unflushed and it was obviously embarassing when the forward committees of these nations visited to inspect yesterday. Rest assured we have everything in control and will be DNA testing the samples collected from the toilet bowls, which will confirm Pakistani involvement in this great Indian embarrassment. They have literally pissed on our party’, said Kalmadi while speaking to NDTV.
    Now, this is one height of conspiracy, Buck up Mr.Kalmadi
    lets open our eyes again Mr. Venkat !Recommend

  • Umer

    Pakistan cricket has gone back an almost 20 years. We will never recover back because of beauracratic mind defieceint people like Ijazz Butt.If Pakistan cricket has gone down, no one has ever made such a dreadful impact compared to Mr Butt.A person with no self esteem and decision making powers…. Alas our patron stays a deaf ear to.Recommend

  • shariz

    Venkat Ananth,

    you better watch your country cricket first before saying anything about Pakistan Cricket, IPL Lalit Modi,Match Fixers Mafia in Mumbai these are the things you have to see first, its well easy to criticize PCB now a days specially for someone from india, didnt you see corruption of Lalit Modi in IPL by using all his jugaad even there was confirmed political influence on minister level too.
    so i would suggest you rather interfering in our matter you better keep an eye on your CWG which causing all indians a shame not only in india but all over.Recommend

  • Umer

    Dear Shariz
    I dont think so thats a befitting reply because I think what is happening in Pakistan cricket is more disgraceful.Its not just these betting allegations with our new generation, our former greats have actually been fined and suspended for the same old racket.Waseem, Waqar, Mushtaq Ahmed have all been fined previously on cases of match fixing and players like Salim Malik recieving a life ban speaks volumes about our cricket integrity.If its happening in Inida, its eually shameful but that doesnt mean , it becomes an excusable ritual for us.I think Pakistan cricket is a disgrace.People like Ijazz Butt running the affairs speaks so much about us.Have a look at the latest issue when he accuses the english players of the same misdemeaouner and than takes his words back.Well what do you want to say about that.I am a Pakistani and was a great follower of Pakistani cricket but the recent issues and countless defeats has left me disgusted and I have stopped watching pakistani cricket.Pakistan needs a leader in every department who can lead us sincerely and stop thinking about making fast buck with kick backs and commissions.I hope our cricket structure gets resurected and Pakistan once again becomes the world champion.But with people like Ijazz Butt and all… i dont see that happening.Recommend

  • maheen usmani

    Love the sarcasm inherent in every line! But I have to ask why can’t some people appreciate a satirical blog by someone, who happens to be an Indian, without making comments about their Achilles heel? Recommend

  • SMJASJ

    @Maheen completely agree with you. Like all of us Pakistanis, can the writer not be a fan of our cricket team and is disappointed at how things are falling apart for a country that produced cricket Heros in every era! Grow up people! Stop with the India bashing already!
    Nicely written Venkat! Recommend

  • Masuud Qazi

    You tried your hand at satire, I guess you did succeed to an extent par then to be totally going to the threshold of paranoia re Ijaz Butt and the players you’ve mentioned just took the gloss off it. There are fine lines between every comparatives and sarcastic spectrum I guess, do try to look after them. Cheers bud.Recommend

  • EJ

    Enjoyed reading the article…and agree with you Maheen :-)

    like why do we always find comfort in other people’s wrong, other people’s wrong doings do not justify ours – errh!Recommend

  • Umer

    Pakistan cricket is appalling.. thats what I understand!Recommend

  • noor

    @Sajjad Ahmed, Please post the URL of the the comments you’ve stated… You are lying and that is what makes Pakistan a shameful country because our man just like Ijaz Butt blabber without knowing the facts. I scuttled through all links with Suresh Kalmadi on NDTV website and found none of what you’ve stated.

    You defame Pakistan. You should be ashamed of yourself of lying on a public forum.

    The article was just a sattire and it is meant to be taken as one. The poor guy is not even blaming Pakistan for anything just Mr. Butt and I think most of the Pakistanis hate Mr. Butt for his antics and contribution to Pakistan cricket.Recommend

  • Venkat Ananth

    @Noor: Actually, Mr. Kalmadi is Ijaz Butt’s long lost cousin. The guy has a point when he says that. Except that, I’d have liked him to critique my piece than my nationality, which I can’t do much about. Thanks for the comment, mate.Recommend

  • Shumail

    Hey Venkat, how is looking across the border at the IPL corruption scandal equals racism (especially as this article is on cricket and corruption)? Please explain this expanding definition of racism to me pls and am I now a racist too?Recommend

  • Amin Mohammad

    Mr. Ejaz Butt is another appointment without any merits as this Government has done in most of the institutions. This Government fails to understand is that by appointing non deserving and corrupt people on big position is weakening their own existence as Media is so free that now everybody knows what is going on and why it is going on. So it would be in Government interest to sack Mr. Butt and appoint somebody on Merit who can represent Pakistan with dignity. Recommend

  • Umer

    So what can one do.If hes a bad appointment by a bad government , than it speaks volumes about the infrastructure we have.Although I dont live in Pakistan anymore , I can easily compare the difference in the system we have and the people in the west have.They have system with accountability as no one is above the law.Pakistan is a perfect example of banana governance where might is right and people like our cricket board administrators get elected by selection; with no elections.This is where we stand…no system…no values and therefore that thrives an individual to make his own way wether right or wrong.With all said and seen and done, the most that has affected is pakistan cricket.I dont see any turn around from here because our cricket administrators are developing a wrong culture amongst our players; of quick and swift careers with lots of money; no wonder we excell better in Twenty Twenty internationals.Gone are the days where we produced Miandad, Imran, Akram and Waqar who educated themselves for a long career.Our players and board should take advice from our neighbours India.. no matter what Modi has done and no matter what Azhar may have accomplished with his scandals…. they have still produced far better groomed players who at least look civilized on the field.Recommend

  • http://deleted Sajjad Ahmed

    @Noor: Again, you should be ashamed of passing on judgements noor.

    http://www.pakistankakhudahafiz.com/2010/09/21/isi-behind-cwg-bridge-collapse-indian-minister/
    there you go :)

    Again, point was not to degrade the writer. I, for one, really appreciated the satire. Just to top it, another aspect of such mindlessness must be discussed in parallel !Recommend

  • Anoop

    Haha.. Ijaz Butt has spit in the face of ECB who were gracious enough to let Pakistan treat their grounds as home grounds. He has made sure that no ICC member will host Pakistan for a long long long long time to come.

    Way to go. Great work in the times where Pakistan cricket is treated like an International pariah.Recommend

  • noor

    @Sajjad: Why do you think that this story was not covered by The Tribune or Dawn? Why some unknown alternative think tank has to print it??

    These guys even printed that floods are caused due to Indians opening the dam gates, do you really think so? Our Ambassador to US stated that it was due to global warming, he is the face of Pakistan. Would you trust him or some faceless, unknown website which can print anything it wants to fool people?

    Point here is making such statements is doing nothing for Pakistan but is actually making it a laughing stock of the world with people calling Pakistan the clown of South Asia, the begging bowl of the world etc etc. (http://washuman.blogspot.com/)

    If each individual Pakistani takes responsibility to think rationally before reacting half of our problems will get resolved.

    I have been to Canada and the US, and the view from their about Pakistan is just embrasing, don’t get fooled by others who just want to stir up emotions in you…Recommend

  • Iqbal

    One of the better sattires from Indian media, Pakistanis should learn to laugh at themselves and be more tolerative of others. Read the comments at the bottom of the articles, all the more funnier.

    Guys have a big heart and stop being so insecure about yourself that others find it easy to derrogate you. Great spirit shown by the neighbours, now its our time.

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/people/Suresh-Kalmadi-a-bundle-of-Jokes/articleshow/6641794.cmsRecommend

  • Venkat Ananth

    @Iqbal: We have been poking enough fun at Kalmadi and Lalit Bhanot that some of us Indians have run out of tweets and blogposts to do the same. Thank you for the feedback. I don’t see Ijaz Butt and Suresh Kalmadi as two different entities. They’re products of a corrupt system, which believes in continued impunity for misdemeanors, a high-degree tolerance for nepotism and of course a system that doesn’t have the larger interest of the sport or sports at heart. India’s Commonwealth Games are a tragic reflection of the society we are and choose to be, essentially our “chalta hai” attitude and somewhere end up hitting us at places where it does hurt the most – heart or otherwise. Problem is, we shall continue to have these clowns take over our sport/sports and remind us that “We are like this only. Say what you want”. As an Indian, I refuse to take this hands down, and during the course of the games, I promise to give you a hard-hitting piece on how we have been cheated by the powers that be. Indian sport deserves better, and so does Pakistan cricket. Thank you.Recommend

  • Asess Memon

    @ Ijaz Butt: I wont to join Pakistan Team because i know that i’m a Good All-Rounder.Recommend

  • http://www.fattaurus.com Ahmed Ilyas

    Great Article…. These morons who are sitting at top just fill their pockets and nothing more… In Pakistan as well as India…Tell you what! You should write some of these open letters to some of your Indian Politicians as well. What say you han?Recommend

  • http://www.fattaurus.com Ahmed Ilyas

    I think this write also needs to write open letter to the managers of IPL for their racist actions against Pakistani plays….. What do you say Mr. Writer?Recommend

  • http://www.fattaurus.com Ahmed Ilyas

    @Tanzeel:

    Exactly…Recommend

  • Umer

    Twp wrongs dont make one right… instead of looking at what India is doing , you should look first into what Pakistan cricket board is upto… a PakistaniRecommend

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/ Leslie

    Amazing post, truly!Recommend