'Unapologetic' Butt says strong action necessary to stamp out indiscipline in team

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Karachi, Mar.12 (ANI): Defending the Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) decision to impose a ban and hefty penalties on seven top cricketers, board chairman Ijaz Butt has said such strong action was needed to stamp out indiscipline in the national squad.

In an interview with a private television channel, Butt said the persistent problem of groupism and indiscipline had been affecting the team's performance and, it was necessary to initiate some drastic measures to prevent the game in Pakistan from further damage.

"I am not apologetic; I think the board has taken the right decision and such strong action was urgently required to put Pakistan cricket back on the right track.This problem of indiscipline and groupings in the team has been festering for a while now and we thought this was the best time to take action," Butt said.

On Wednesday, the PCB imposed bans and fines on Muhammad Yousuf, Younis Khan, Shoaib Malik, Rana Naved, Shahid Afridi, Kamran Akmal and Umar Akmal after considering the recommendations of a committee, which was formed to probe the team's pathetic show Down Under and reports of infighting in the team on the tour.

Butt stressed that players must remember that they are playing for the country and adhere to the code of conduct at all cost.

"We are not worried about the consequences of our action. There is no shortage of talent in Pakistan and we want players to remember they have to give 100 per cent to the country and follow the code of conduct," The Dawn quoted Butt, as saying.

The board, after issuing two statements to clear up confusion about the bans on Wednesday, said it would not consider former captains Yousuf and Younis for national team selection for an unspecified period.

The PCB had banned Malik and Rana for one year and slapped a fine of two million rupees on each of them. (ANI)

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