Monday, December 04, 2023

Wasim Akram tells PCB to 'stick' to decisions after Salman Butt saga

"Don't hold press conference after every three minutes," Akram tells board

Former Pakistan skipper Wasim Akram speaks during an interview — ICC/File
Former Pakistan skipper Wasim Akram speaks during an interview — ICC/File

Days after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) appointed former cricketer Salman Butt only to fire him within 24 hours, ex-legendary pacer Wasim Akram has advised the board to "stick" to their decision.

Taking to social media platform X, Akram took a dig at the cricket board for backtracking on its decision to fire Butt and said: "Don't hold a press conference after every three minutes. Stick to your decision."

"You [PCB] should be aware of the consequences of your decision [...] Think before [you make a decision]. Be brave," he added.

The former star left-arm pacer was referring to the board's decision to appoint Butt — along with Kamran Akmal and Rao Iftikhar Anjum — as a “consultant member” to chief selector Wahab Riaz. The decision, however, didn't sit well with former cricketers and fans who lambasted the board for appointing the controversial figure to the board — leading to his dismissal the very next day.

Butt, for his role in the 2010 spot-fixing scandal, was sentenced to 30 months in prison and banned from playing for 10 years for being involved in conspiracy to bowl deliberate no-balls during a 2010 Test match against England at Lord's.

The decision to fire Butt was announced by chief selector Wahab Riaz who said that he had communicated to the former skipper that he could not be part of his team.

However, it was later revealed that the PCB reverted its earlier decision on the directions of caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar who stressed that the selection committee must be free from controversy, adding that the prime minister has directed for "well-reputed" and "non-controversial" selectors to be appointed for the post.

The Sultan of Swing — while commenting on newly appointed officials — underscored the significance of giving new management enough to prove their mettle.

"Let's give them one year [...] Mohammad] Hafeez has come in as director of cricket and coach, Riaz has come in as chief selector, Kamran Akmal and co. Give them some time, it's their turn."

Akram also wished good luck to the Pakistan cricket team ahead of their Test series against Australia.

It is to be noted that the Green Shirts — who have not won a match in Australia in nearly three decades — will lock horns with the Aussies in their three-match test series with the home side.

Australia squad: David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins (captain), Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood, Scott Boland, Cameron Green, Lance Morris

Pakistan squad: Shan Masood (captain), Aamir Jamal, Abdullah Shafique, Abrar Ahmed, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Khurram Shahzad, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Noman Ali, Saim Ayub, Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Saud Shakeel and Shaheen Shah Afridi

Australia tour schedule:

Four-day match: PM’s XI vs Pakistan – December 6-9: Manuka Oval, Canberra

1st Test – Australia vs Pakistan – December 14-18: Perth Stadium

2nd Test – Australia vs Pakistan – December 26-30: Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG)

3rd Test – Australia vs Pakistan – January 3-7: Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG)