Former Pakistan wicketkeeper and PCB chair Ijaz Butt dies aged 85
Ijaz Butt, who made his Test debut as a wicketkeeper-batter against the West Indies in Karachi in 1959, has played a total of eight Tests for Pakistan.
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Ijaz Butt, former Pakistan wicketkeeper and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman has passed away at the age of 85 in Lahore on August 3, Thursday. According to reports, the former cricketer had been battling illness for a substantial period.
Butt was appointed as PCB chief by then-President Asif Ali Zardari in 2008. Notably, he held that role during one of Pakistan's most contentious periods in the history of the game. A terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team which cost the lives of eight people and halted international cricket in Pakistan just five months into his appointment, and it was followed by ICC (International Cricket Council) match referee Chris Broad's heated charges of inadequate security. During his tenure, the captaincy of the Pakistan team has changed several times.
Following a poor tour of Australia, the PCB retaliated with severe fines on its players. Butt had to deal with the consequences of the spot-fixing scandal, in which three Pakistan players, captain Salman Butt, bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir, were discovered agreeing to bowl no-balls in a Test at Lord's. The three players were banned, and tensions between the PCB and England deteriorated. In 2011, Butt was sacked and replaced by Zaka Ashraf, who is also the current PCB chairman.
The PCB is saddened by the news of the passing of former Test cricketer and ex-PCB chairman Ijaz Butt. Our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends. pic.twitter.com/EH0UuMBfhN— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) August 3, 2023
Ijaz Butt, who made his Test debut as a wicketkeeper-batter against the West Indies in Karachi in 1959, has played a total of eight Tests for Pakistan. In 1962, he played his final match at The Oval against England. He has also headed the selection committee several times. From 1984 to 1988, he was the secretary of Pakistan's Board of Control for Cricket (former name of PCB).
Following Butt's death, PCB management committee chairperson Zaka Ashraf expressed his heartfelt condolences on behalf of the cricket board.
"On behalf of the PCB, I want to express my deepest condolences on the sad demise of Mr Ijaz Butt. I had the privilege of knowing him personally and I have nothing but utmost respect for Mr Butt. I offer my deepest condolences to Ijaz Butt's family and friends, and assure them that he will always be remembered for the contributions he made to Pakistan cricket," Zaka Ashraf said in a statement.