What's the story?
2010 spot-fixing scandal convicts Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif have been named among the 501 players who will be part of the 2017 player draft for the third edition of the Pakistan Super League which will take place at Lahore on Sunday.
With the third edition of the PSL seeing the introduction of a sixth franchise named Multan Sultans, the PCB had allowed the remaining five teams to retain nine players each while instructing the remaining players to be named in the draft.
“Teams have already retained nine players each and will go into the PSL Player Draft 2017 to pick one Platinum, one Diamond, one Gold, two Silver and two Emerging players each in order to complete their squads of 16,” a Pakistan Cricket Board statement read. “Teams may also pick up to four players in the supplementary rounds.”
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While Mohammad Amir has made a successful comeback to the Pakistan national team, Butt and Asif are yet to be considered for a recall following their role in the spot-fixing scandal during Pakistan's tour of England in 2010.
The duo, who resumed playing domestic cricket in 2016, were named in the draft for the second edition of the PSL as well but were overlooked by all the five franchises who refused to include the tainted duo in their squads.
The heart of the matter
The new season, however, sees the addition of a sixth franchise named the Multan Sultans and the duo will be hoping that they get selected this time around.
While Butt has been named in the Gold category, Asif has been included in the Silver category.
All teams will have the option to pick as many as 20 players in their squad within the stipulated salary cap of US$1.2 million each.
Butt has been in scintillating form off late with PCB chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq even claiming that the former skipper is being seriously considered for a selection in the national squad.
With the second edition of the PSL overshadowed by the spot-fixing controversy that in turn seemed to push back Butt's chances of making an international comeback, the PCB will be hoping for a controversy-free tournament this time around.
The PSL has a lot of international presence with the likes of Chris Lynn, JP Duminy, Imran Tahir, Carlos Brathwaite, Shane Watson, Dwayne Bravo, Mitchell McClenaghan, Mitchell Johnson, Mustafizur Rahman, Colin Munro, Luke Ronchi, Adil Rashid and Wayne Parnell, available for selection at the draft.
The PCB has taken their time and rightly so in integrating the tainted trio of Amir, Butt, and Asif back into the scheme of things as far as Pakistan cricket is concerned.
While Amir has cemented his place in the side, Butt also seems to be on the verge of earning a recall to the side following his fine performances in the domestic circuit and he will be hoping that the franchises who overlooked him last time give him a chance to succeed.Published 10 Nov 2017, 21:43 IST