Ijaz Butt and Shahid Afridi. -File photo

LAHORE: Former PCB chairman Ijaz Butt, while hailing the services of the incumbent chairman Zaka Ashraf for the promotion of the game on Saturday, advised all-rounder Shahid Afridi to focus on his own performance instead of issuing reckless statements.

Last week Afridi said during Butt's tenure Pakistan was hit by match-fixing scandals and that he was removed as ODI captain despite Pakistan making the semifinal of the 2011 World Cup.

In a written reply to Afridi’s recent outburst against him, Ijaz said: “I have read your statement with interest and would like to tell you about a few things.

“I would like to inform you that Mr Zaka Ashraf has not only known to me for over 40 years now but he is also a good friend of mine.

“My statement was basically an advice to Zaka but I have never interfered in any of his workings ever since he became PCB chairman and I have the feeling that some people are not advising him sincerely in his cricketing activities,” wrote Ijaz.

“As regards your comments, I always have felt very strongly that playing members of the team should not make any comments publicly. When you retire, you can definitely make such comments but not at this stage.

“You have mentioned that you are looking forward to the tournament in England and also looking to make the squad for the 2015 World Cup.

“For this my suggestion to you would be that you work hard to improve your batting and bowling efforts. In the past you have been one of the best all-rounders but in recent times you have had a very lean time.

“I also felt very bad about Younis Khan not getting selected in the 30 probables named by the selection committee. This was very unfair because Younis still has a lot of cricket left in him and has served the country well.

“Similarly, my criticism regarding making Hafeez the captain of Twenty20 team is based on logic and facts. Hafeez is a very good all-rounder and can prove an asset to Pakistan cricket if he concentrates only on his cricketing activities.

“I very strongly feel that he should not be made captain of any of the side.

“Currently, the pattern in most teams of the world is that the skippers, in case they are unavailable to lead the team due to any reason, themselves appoint their deputies.

“My suggestion is that our Board should also go by this rule,” concluded Ijaz.

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