LAHORE: Former chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Ijaz Butt, in a rejoinder to his successor Zaka Ashraf’s statement, clarified that he went to India to discuss the revival of cricketing ties between the two countries with the consent of the present PCB chief and Zaka had taken him by surprise by saying that only board-to-board talks will be held to resume the ties.
In a written statement to Dawn, Ijaz said: “I was very surprised to read my friend’s [Zaka] comments regarding my earlier statement given in good faith to your paper.
“I would like to clarify here that I had written to Mr Zaka Ashraf that I am going to India on my own and if he agrees, I could talk to some of my friends like Rajiv Shukla and Sharad Powar for early resumption of India-Pakistan matches. Zaka had agreed and afterwards I also had a one-to-one meeting with him in the Punjab Club about my visit. Later, after my return from India, I had a detailed meeting with the PCB chief again and apprised him of the results.
“I feel that somebody in the PCB is wrongly advising Mr Ashraf. In the past I have avoided any interviews etc with the media. I am fully with Mr Zaka Ashraf for his efforts to get the foreign teams to visit Pakistan and to finalise India-Pakistan matches as soon as possible. I will only help if he needs my help, but I do not want to interfere in his efforts to bring cricket back to Pakistan. Best of luck to Mr Zaka Ashraf,” Ijaz concluded.