Salman Butt scores a century in his first match after comeback
Mohammad Asif also returned to competitive cricket and helped his team to a 141 runs victory along with Butt
Former Pakistani skipper Salman Butt scored a century on his comeback in a domestic match in the ongoing National One Day Cup in Pakistan on Sunday. Butt scored 135 from 143 balls for his team Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) against Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
Butt’s teammate Mohammed Asif, another accused in the 2010 spot-fixing scam, also made his return by taking 2 wickets and setting up a win for their team. Their performances ensured that their team WAPDA beat FATA by 141 runs.
The tainted pair, along with Mohammed Aamer were banned from the game and were subsequently jailed over the spot-fixing scandal, which rocked the game, in England in 2010. The trio was accused of deliberately presenting no-balls during the Lord's Test against England, in return for money.
The 31-year old hoped that this start in domestic cricket would erase his past and he hopes to represent Pakistan one day. "This is the start and I hope that this is the new beginning. I’ll try to maintain this performance. It's a sort of rebirth. I will do my best to perform and return to Pakistan team. I thank my family, friends, coaches, my WAPDA team and all those well-wishers who supported me. Without their contribution it would not have happened,” a relieved Butt said after the match.
The batsman also wished Mohammad Amir for his inclusion in the national side to tour New Zealand and said that the bowling department would be boosted by Amir's return. "Amir's return, without a doubt, will strengthen Pakistan's bowling and competition will grow in the bowling contingent and others' performances will also get better, so I wish him the best."
Both cricketers have a small glimmer of hope that they would represent their national team some day in the future just like Amir, and their future will depend on their performances in the domestic circuit. But even then, their comeback seems highly unlikely because of their tainted past and their age (both are 30+).