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Ramiz Raja not in favour of Salman Butt’s international comeback

Ramiz Raja says Pakistan is ‘going in circles in cricket corruption’ by allowing Salman Butt to represent the country once again.

cricket Updated: Sep 26, 2017 12:23 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Salman Butt,Ramiz Raja,Pakistan cricket team
Ramiz Raja has spoken out against the possibility of former Pakistan captain Salman Butt making a comeback into the national team.(Action Images via Reuters)

Former cricketer-turned-commentator Ramiz Raja is not in favour of Salman Butt being allowed back in the Pakistan cricket team. A few days ago, chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq had confirmed that the selection panel is considering drafting the former captain into the national side.

Raja has pointed fingers at ‘lenient’ bans imposed on those found guilty in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) spot-fixing scandal, while calling Butt as a ‘rogue’ cricketer.

The Pakistan Cricket Board had banned as many as six cricketers who were found guilty in the PSL 2017 spot-fixing scandal. Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif have been banned for five years each, whereas Mohammad Irfan has been handed a one-year ban.

READ | Pakistan considering Salman Butt for national team, confirms Inzamam-ul-Haq

Mohammad Nawaz was handed a two-month suspension, whereas PCB has also suspended Nasir Jamshed and Shahzaib Hasan. In February, Jamshed was even arrested by the British police and was released on bail, in connection to the PSL controversy.

On his part, Raja is not happy with the way Pakistan Cricket Board is handling corruption in the sport. “Going in circles in cricket corruption- PSL guilty players fined leniently while rogue Salman Butt is green lighted to play for Pak again,” Raja wrote on his Twitter page.

Raja has maintained his stance that tainted cricketers cannot be allowed back. However, Mohammad Amir remains a prime example of being allowed to pursue a long career in cricket again.

“My take on tainted cricketers remains the same over the years. We have suffered a lot in their hands and they don’t need any mercy, they don’t need any second chance,” Raja was quoted as saying by Sport 360.

“I can only raise my voice and I have got a certain opinion and one which I will stick by with my principle. When you play for your country, it’s an honour. There should be 11 people who are looking to win you the match. Suddenly you find that eight of them were trying desperately to win you a match and three who were conspiring to lose you the game. That experience can only be felt by a player who is actually part of such a scenario,” he added.

READ | Khalid Latif banned for five years for spot-fixing in Pakistan Super League cricket

“Pakistan had to regain its status after being thrown into this situation. Under Misbah they have now resurfaced and it was a tremendous achievement by Misbah and his men. For me, two and half years of cricket jail-term is nothing. So in my book, all these players should not be given another chance,” Raja opined.

Butt has made a strong comeback after serving a five-year spot-fixing ban, scoring a plenty of runs to impress the selectors and even former Pakistan coach Waqar Younis and ex-captain Misbah-ul-Haq.

In a recent press conference, Inzamam had admitted that Butt could be given a chance to make international cricket comeback. “He is playing very well after his comeback and we are considering him. He was there in our high-performance camp and he was exceptional. It’s fantastic to see that a player has been out for five years but still maintained a high standard of fitness,” Inzamam was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.

First Published: Sep 26, 2017 12:23 IST