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Butt hits backs at Senate attack

SAMAA | - Posted: Feb 11, 2009 | Last Updated: 11 years ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Feb 11, 2009 | Last Updated: 11 years ago
Butt hits backs at Senate attack

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ijaz Butt hit back
Wednesday at severe government criticism of the board's financial management, saying the country's Senate has “no powers” to interfere in cricket affairs.
The PCB chief faced volleys of questions from Senate's standing committee
this week, with Senator Enver Baig calling for Butt to step down and make way
for professional administrators.
“They are running the PCB like a grocery shop and know nothing about
anything,” Baig said.
Much of the questioning was over the financial management of the country's
cricket board, but Butt responded Wednesday by saying the PCB was not
answerable to the senators.
“They can criticize us as much they like, but they have no powers and
can't give us the direction,” Butt told reporters in the eastern city of
Lahore.
“Only the sports ministry and the patron of the board (can give the
direction).”
Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari, who is also the patron-in-chief of
the PCB, appointed Butt as chairman last October.
The Senate committee members were shocked to learn that renovation work at
the Gaddafi Stadium could have been completed at a cost of 310 million rupees
($3.9 million) instead of the PCB's claims of 471 million rupees ($5.9
million).
Butt said there was no attempt to disguise the details of financial deals,
and stood by the latter figure.
“There were a number of papers which we did not get from our
predecessors, but we still tried our best to satisfy the Senate committee
members whatever details we had,” Butt said.
“It's all in black and white, but the Senate members were not willing to
accept what details we provided to them.
“We had terminated the services of contractor and architect and now we
will look for a new contractor to complete the Gaddafi Stadium project.”
Butt acknowledged the PCB's financial position had been improved by
receipt of an advance from a $140m television rights deal, but the financial
state of the board remained perilous.
Butt claimed in front of the committee last month that the PCB would go
bankrupt within six months as its reserves had fallen from 3.3 billion rupees
($41 million) to 1.5 billion rupees ($18.9 million).
“Now they are saying that there reserves are 2.6 billion rupees ($32.8
million), so how can they go bankrupt?” Baig said.
Butt said the previous management of the cricket board – under Nasim
Ashraf – wasted money on such deals as 50 million rupees ($630,000) of
premiums to an insurance company against the risk that Australia would cancel
its tour last year. Australia did pull out, yet the PCB received no pay out.
“It was a total waste of money and even now the auditor general is saying
that we are not going to get anything,” Butt said.
Similarly, Butt said he had “inherited” 1100 employees from Ashraf's
regime.
“The PCB is a cricket organization and not an employment exchange,” he
said.
“When I met Cricket Australia officials in Perth late last month, I was
informed that only 80 people work in their organization while we have a fleet
of employees.” AP

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