'Zardari under tremendous pressure to sack PCB chief Ijaz Butt'

     Pakistan President and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) patron Asif Ali Zardari is reportedly under tremendous pressure to sack PCB Chairman Ijaz Butt, who is being held responsible for bringing the national team into disrepute. The Pakistan team currently trail 0-2 in the ongoing four-Test series against England . The team had lost the first Test at Trent Bridge by 354 runs and the second at Edgbaston by nine wickets. Under Butt's chairmanship, Pakistan has also seen five different Test captains come and go in just over a year - Shoaib Malik, Younus Khan, Mohammed Yousuf, Shahid Afridi and Salman Butt - without showing any improvement. "The senior political figures in Peoples Party UK wing have approached President Asif Ali Zardari, also the patron of the PCB, to express their grave concern over the pathetic performance of the national squad in England," The Dawn quoted a senior government official, as saying. "Several leading party workers had lodged their complaints with him during his recent visit to Birmingham ," he added. He further admitted that the Presidency was considering few new names to replace Butt. "Renowned sports figures such as former military official Tauqir Zia, who had run the PCB affairs in quite a fair manner, ICC's former president Ehsan Mani and former World Bank official and chairman of Pakistan Agricultural Research Council, Dr Zafar Altaf are among the candidates being considered for the slot of PCB chairman," the official said. Earlier, in a two-page letter written to the President, Chairman of Pakistan National Assembly's Standing Committee on Sports, Iqbal Mohammad Ali, had said that Butt's administration has seen the team reduced to the status of 'minnows'. "The chairman and his close aides have shoddily let down your confidence in them by making a mockery of management ethics at the board. It is therefore recommended that a very dynamic and energetic administrator be made the chairman of the board so that the affairs of cricket in Pakistan are run professionally," Ali said. "The incompetence of Ijaz has already brought enough shame for our country at international level," he added.

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