Ijaz Butt, the former chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), passed away in Lahore on Thursday at the age of 85.
According to his son-in-law, Arif Saeed, he had been battling illness for a considerable period.
The PCB expressed its deep sorrow over the news of the demise of Ijaz Butt in a concise statement on their official Twitter account.
“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,” PCB tweeted.
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
Butt took on the position of PCB chairman in October 2008, and his tenure proved to be a mixed bag of successes and challenges. Shortly after assuming office, Pakistan faced a major setback when a terrorist attack targeted the Sri Lankan team tour bus, leading to the suspension of several international fixtures.
However, amidst the difficulties, there were moments of glory for Pakistan cricket. In the same year, the team achieved a momentous victory in the T20 World Cup under the captaincy of Younis Khan.
Unfortunately, 2010 brought with it a dark chapter for Pakistan cricket as it was hit by a spot-fixing scandal. Mohammad Amir, Salman Butt, and Mohammad Asif were found guilty of spot-fixing during a Test match against England, tarnishing the reputation of the national team.
In the aftermath of the infamous spot-fixing debacle at Lord’s in 2010, Butt made a significant decision by appointing Misbah ul Haq as the Test captain. This move turned out to be a stroke of genius, as Misbah went on to become the most successful Test captain of Pakistan, leading the team to victory in 26 out of 56 matches.
Butt was known as a skilled wicketkeeper-batter, who made his Test debut against the West Indies in 1958-59.
He scored a total of 279 runs in eight Test matches at an average of 19.92. Furthermore, he featured in 67 first-class matches, amassing over 3,000 runs.