Ijaz Butt, the former Test opener, has been appointed the Pakistan Cricket Board's new chairman by President Asif Ali Zardari. Pakistan's sports ministry is expected to make an official announcement later in the day.
Butt's appointment ended weeks of suspense since the resignation of former board chairman Nasim Ashraf in August. Ashraf stepped down on August 18 a few hours after Pervez Musharraf resigned as Pakistan's president. Butt, 70, was said to have been one of Ashraf's strongest critics.
Butt, who played eight Tests between 1959-62, is a member of the PCB's governing body. He earlier served as the secretary of the then Board of Control for Cricket in Pakistan (BCCP) between 1984 and 1988. He was also the president of the Lahore City Cricket Association for many years. He toured Australia in 1982-83 as manager of the Pakistan team and twice headed the national selection committee.
Butt takes over as PCB chairman at a time when Pakistan cricket, against the backdrop of internal political violence, is in turmoil. Australia, New Zealand, England and West Indies declined to travel to Pakistan for the ICC Champions Trophy, scheduled to be played in September, after a spate of suicide bombings. Prior to that, Pakistan cricket's image was tainted through doping controversies and indiscipline issues in the national side.
Pakistan have not played a Test match in the whole of 2008, and their last home ODI against non-Asian opponents came in October 2007, when South Africa beat them in the series decider in Lahore.