Senator asks PCB chairman to quit

PCB officials on Monday came under fire at the hearing of Senate Standing Committee with a Senator demanding the resignation of chairman Ejaz Butt.

updated: February 09, 2009 14:41 IST
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Pakistan Cricket Board officials on Monday came under fire at the hearing of Senate Standing Committee on Sports with a Senator demanding the resignation of beleaguered PCB chairman Ejaz Butt.

According to details available, Butt and chief operating officer Saleem Altaf faced a lot of criticism from the committee during the nearly six hours session.

"I appeal to the chief patron of the board to kindly change the board set-up. Because if these same people remain in power it would be the complete destruction of Pakistan cricket," Senator Enver Baig said after the meeting.

Butt and Altaf faced the music for giving wrong figures in the construction work of a new wing at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, in which they claimed the former PCB officials had indulged in financial mismanagement.

"Butt kept on claiming that due to poor management of the former board officials, the cost of the project had escalated from Rs 27 crores to Rs 47 crores. But he soon taken to task by the committee members when it was proved that even with escalated costs, the project would be completed in Rs 31 crores and not Rs 47 crores," an eye witness told PTI.

He said Butt and others were left red faced when ex-chief operating officer Shafqat Naghmi, against whom the present board has made serious allegations, gave a presentation confirming the project cost was Rs 31 crores.

"Naghmi's presentation was supported by the government construction company, Nespak, the board architects and engineers leaving Butt and his officials in an embarrassing position," the eye witness said.

He said in the meeting Senator Haroon Akhtar pointed out that PCB was in a sorry state of affairs as they lack competent people to work on financial matters.

More embarrassment followed when Butt admitted that the current assets of the board were Rs 2.7 billion and not Rs 1.7 billion as earlier stated.

"Butt made the point that this increase came about due to 10 per cent payment by the company that had brought television rights but the senators were not satisfied.

"It is obvious that the board's financial health is not as bad as this board has made it out to be which is a shame," Akhtar said.

Butt and former captain Javed Miandad also exchanged some words when the issue of Miandad's resignation in protest over delegation of powers came up for discussion.

"Butt claimed that his biggest mistake was to ask Miandad to work without finalising the contractual details. He also claimed Miandad had resigned after he asked for Rs 1.6 million as salary which was refused," the eye witness said.

"However, Miandad strongly refuted that he ever asked for 1.6 million rupees and insisted he resigned because he was not given the powers that he was earlier promised," the eye witness added.

"The senators asked Butt and Miandad to have a meeting and try to reconcile matters," he said.