Unofficial ban stopping Salman Butt's return to national side, hints national selector
Ijaz Ahmed Jr., national selector and coach of the Central Punjab team (on the Pakistan domestic circuit), made a rather shocking revelation at the National Stadium in Karachi during a press conference on Monday.
Speaking at the press conference, Ahmed hinted that former Pakistan captain Salman Butt may be facing an unofficial ban by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
Butt, who played his last Test match in 2010, has a total of 33 Test matches under his belt in which he has scored 1889 runs at an average of 30.46. The opener had also played 78 ODIs and 24 T20Is before he was involved in a spot-fixing scandal that drove his career to the ground.
While many former cricketers and journalists have asked the PCB to give Butt another chance (just like they did with Mohammad Amir), it seems like the Board isn’t willing to take that chance just yet.
Ahmed revealed that Butt needs to continue proving himself as the final decision for his selection does not rest in the hands of Head Coach & Chief Selector Misbah-ul-Haq, but in the hands of the PCB, saying:
“This is a decision for the Pakistan Cricket Board. They are looking at the performances. I have talked with Misbah-ul-Haq on the matter, but this is basically the board’s decision. When we get instructions from the board to consider him, we will definitely go ahead with it.”
This raised many questions as Ahmed’s statement made it clear that the PCB was not in favor of selecting Butt at the moment due to his controversial past.
“All players who are performing are available. We are looking at all players including Salman Butt. The main thing is that there are some players that we have particular instructions about which could hold them back, I am not clear on this. If we get the green signal from the board to consider these players we will definitely go ahead with it,” stated Ahmed.
His ban was lifted in September 2015, after which he was allowed to return to all forms of cricket by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
While Amir was fast-tracked into the national side, Butt and Asif struggled to get selected even in domestic tournaments, and have also not gotten a chance to show their potential in the Pakistan Super League.
While PCB has always assured fans that the selection process of the team is purely based on merit and is completely transparent, fans have been unhappy at times due to the treatment of some players who have proved their worth time and time again.Published 31 Dec 2019, 15:51 IST