Media lashes out at Butt over match-fixing u-turn

PCB Chairman Ejaz Butt has come under severe criticism from the Pakistani media for his flip-flop on the issue of match fixing.

updated: February 27, 2010 10:50 IST
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PCB Chairman Ejaz Butt has come under severe criticism from the Pakistani media for his flip-flop on the issue of match fixing which he had raised during a press conference to announce the names of 30 probables for the World T20 in West Indies.

Butt had on Friday in Lahore claimed that two national team players were suspected of being involved in match-fixing in Australia even though he did not disclose their identity.

Hours later, he changed his stance and denied the statement, claiming he had been merely referring to old cases and some people misunderstood and misquoted him.

"Butt does flip-flop on match-fixing issue"; "Butt keeps media guessing with contrasting statements on match-fixing"; "Butt's somersault on match-fixing issue"; and "Butt in trouble after opening Pandora's box on match-fixing" were some of the headlines in Saturday's leading newspapers.

The 'Express' newspaper carried a story where ICC officials denied having any knowledge of the claim made by Butt during the conference. Officials said they had never provided any match-fixing evidence against any player to the PCB.

Although Butt was now trying to cover up the whole issue, it was to be noted that during the conference he had on several occasions mentioned that he would give further details on the case once the inquiry committee formed to look into the team's performance in Australia tables its report.

"What old cases of match-fixing is this committee looking into when it's mandate is to review the reasons for the team's poor show in Australia," the Express daily added.

Meanwhile, former captains and players have argued the timing of Butt's statement and said what was the sense of bringing up the issue at a conference which was called to announce the names of probables for the World Cup.

"The PCB Chairman has created problems for himself and Pakistan cricket with his statements," former batsman Basit Ali said.

Former captain Moin Khan said there was a clear need in the board to rethink its media policy and avoid making unnecessary statements that cause controversies.

"Why even open up old cases at this time, what is done is done," said former pacer Jalaluddin.