LAHORE: Former Pakistan cricketers paid rich tributes to the services of ex Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ijaz Butt, who was laid to rest at a local graveyard here on Friday. Ijaz passed away a day earlier at the age of 85.

A good number of people belonging to cricket fraternity, including ex Test players Intikhab Alam, Mohamamd Ilyas, Shafqat Rana and Zakir Khan Intikhab, of whom Ijaz was a contemporary , reminisced the time he spend with the deceased.

“Ijaz Butt was my room-mate on two tours; to India in 1960 and then to Australia,” he said. “He was a nice person, a very honest man and as chairman PCB he worked very hard to promote transparency in the cricket affairs.

“We were also together on the PCB’s Board of Governors in 2007 so my association with Ijaz was very long and I pray for the departed soul.”

Ilyas, who worked as chief selector during Ijaz Butt’s tenure as chairman said the latter had a “very nice personality and always loved those who worked for the betterment of the cricket”.

Shafqat echoed Intikhab and Ilyas’ views about Ijaz, saying that the former PCB chief was “an honest man” and that he played a crucial role in breaking players’ power during his time at the helm.

Meanwhile, the International Cricket Council (ICC) also expressed condolences to Ijaz’s family and friends.

“The International Cricket Council (ICC) is saddened by the news of the passing of former Chair of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and former ICC Director,” an ICC press release read Friday.

The sport’s governing body’s chief executive Geoff Allardice said: “We are saddened to hear of the passing of Mr Ijaz Butt, whose contribution to cricket in his country was enjoyed first, as a player, and later, his continued devotion to the game saw him serve as Chair of the PCB and ICC Director.

“We wish to express our heartfelt condolences to his loved ones, friends and the PCB during this difficult time.”

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