PCB chief to meet Pawar on “courtesy visit”

Mumbai: Sharad Pawar is not the only one on the priority list for Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ijaz Butt to meet today. “I am in the capital for two days and before leaving for Lahore again on Wednesday, I intend to meet “a few more people” here”, he said from his Taj Palace Hotel room on Monday morning. Butt refused to identify “others”.

It could not be confirmed whether Butt, on this visit, is also likely to meet Sonia and Rahul Gandhi despite their busy schedules after the election victory. It may, however, be recalled here Rahul Gandhi (with his sister Priyanka) did cross the border to witness the historic series between arch-rivals Pakistan and India in 2004.

Ijaz Butt arrived from Colombo on Sunday on Sri Lankan Air Lines flight no.: ULO 195 (320 CV aircraft) in the capital. “I had fruitful meetings with Sri Lanka’s sports minister (Gamini Lokuge) and a few cricket board officials. They were ‘positive’ in supporting us for 2011 World Cup hosting rights but said they need support from other Asian countries (mainly India) as well”.

The 2011 World Cup Cricket Organising Committee will meet on 27th May here to discuss the hosting rights of matches by Pakistan, it is learned here.

“If invited I shall again come for that important meeting”, he said. According to the well-placed sources here, the representatives from BCCI, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), and Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) are invited till now for the meeting.

Ijaz Butt is also likely to remain present for the IPL final in South Africa. “I shall visit Bangladesh after the IPL final”, he confirmed.

“It is a disappointing response from the ICC; if PCB is still a host why was PCB not informed about the organizing committee meeting in Mumbai immediately after the ICC Board meeting or receive an invitation to attend this meeting and why were the Pakistan matches allocated to India without Pakistan’s input ?”, someone very influential and close to Ijaz Butt said.

“Even Salman Butt who is (was) the executive head of the organizing was not informed of the meeting”, he further said. “Sadly, ICC is looking for technical loopholes instead of making an honest admission that the decision was made in haste without considering all the implications”, he said. “All should sit together and sort out the problem amicably”

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