Inzamam-ul-Haq has a witty reply to reporter calling for Salman Butt's comeback
What’s the story?
Pakistan’s Chief Selector Inzamam-ul-Haq found himself on the receiving end of a question regarding the comeback of controversial left-hander Salman Butt. However, the former skipper used his experience and came up with a hilarious riposte.
Upon listening intently to the reporter making a case for Butt’s selection, Inzamam calmly replied, “You are right! You’ve answered your question yourself.” Needless to say, his straight-faced humour left everyone in splits. He proceeded to explain his answer by alluding to discarded off-spinner Saeed Ajmal’s example.
The 46-year old elaborated, “When you are out for five years, you need to make a comeback by playing a complete season of domestic cricket. I would like to present the example of (Saeed) Ajmal. When he came back after remodelling his action, we rushed him into the national team. I think that was very early. He should have played in the domestic circuit for six months at least.”
After his five-year suspension from the 2010 spot-fixing scandal ended, Butt has been toiling hard in the domestic circuit with a hope of making a comeback into Pakistan team. He led from the front in Water and Power Development Authority’s (WAPDA) triumphant campaign in the 2016/17 Quaid-e-Azam Trophy. With 741 runs from 10 matches, he batted fluently and registered 4 centuries.
The finer points
Inzamam made a reference to Ajmal’s dismal comeback with a remodelled action. Having been called for chucking, the wily off-spinner was hastily recalled to the Pakistan team despite inadequate match practice with his new action. The end result saw him averaging a woeful 123 from 2 matches in Pakistan’s infamous 0-3 ODI whitewash at the hands of Bangladesh.
On the other hand, Butt’s case is slightly different. He has made a successful re-integration into the nation’s domestic circuit. Yet, selectors as well as Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) are rather reluctant to offer a life-line to the 32-year old southpaw due to his tainted image as well as emergence of younger personnel.
Even though both Butt and Asif had placed their names in the 2017 Pakistan Super League (PSL) Draft, there were no takers for them. But, Ajmal will continue to represent Islamabad United after being retained by the defending champions.
Despite possessing immense experience as an iconic cricketer, Inzamam has been finding out that the role of selector remains an entirely different kettle of fish. However, his reply to the enthusiastic reporter was as effortless as when he used to nonchalantly charge down the track and deposit spinners into the stands. As for Butt himself, it seems like the ship has sailed by a long time ago.