Those Pakistanis sure take their cricket seriously.
Pakistan’s humbling one-day defeat in Perth on Friday night seems to have been the last straw for the fans back home, who took to the streets in their hundreds to burn bats, stumps and an effigy of PCB Chairman Ijaz Butt in protest.
Mohammad Yousuf’s team play their last game of a disastrous tour at the WACA Ground today, trailing the series 4-0 and facing the prospect of a one-day whitewash to follow the 3-0 defeat in the Test series.
After witnessing the 135-run massacre in WA, furious fans and around 250 young cricketers from various academies in Karachi chanted slogans against the team and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) during the hour-long protest under the banner of the “Save Pakistan cricket campaign.”
The protesters chanted “Go, Butt, Go!”, “President Zardari, save Pakistan cricket”, and “Goodbye Pakistan cricket” as they burnt dozens of cricket bats, stumps and an effigy of PCB chairman Ijaz Butt.
Amir Akram, chairman of the recently-formed campaign, said President Asif Ali Zardari must remove Butt, blaming him for destroying the game.
“Cricket is our love and the recent defeats have disheartened millions of fans across the country, so we demand President Asif Zardari to remove Butt, who is too old to run the board,” Akram said of the 71-year-old PCB chairman.
Zardari is the patron of the PCB and appointed Butt in October 2008.
Butt has also come under pressure from the National Assembly’s standing committee on sports, which has been demanding his removal since last year.
Of course, we’ve seen this all before.
Meanwhile, am I the only one who noticed the unfortunate name of the PCB Chairman?
Update: What is it with Pakistan cricket stories, and lower parts of the human anatomy? Here, we have butt, and my last Pakistan cricket-related blog post dealt with genital warts.