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What it is to be Salman Butt; ex-Pakistan cricket captain’s career in balance

Salman Butt has been out of the Pakistan cricket team after serving a five-year ban for spot-fixing. Butt has been in good form in Pakistan’s domestic circuit

cricket Updated: Dec 19, 2016 23:45 IST
salman butt,spotfixing,pakistan cricket team
Salman Butt is eyeing a return to Pakistan national cricket team. He has been in good form in domestic cricket and has won support from former Pakistan cricket captain and coach Waqar Younis to make a comeback. (AFP)

Salman Butt has been trying his best to make a comeback to the Pakistan national cricket team. The former skipper, who dug his grave after being caught for spot-fixing a match in England in 2010, is being backed by the legendary Waqar Younis to make a return.

Salman Butt served a five-year ban for spot-fixing along with Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif. While Amir made his way back in the national squad and has served Pakistan well in the sensational Brisbane Test that Australia won narrowly on Monday, Butt and Amir have not been lucky.

“He has served his sentence and everyone maybe deserves another go in life,” Waqar, who coached the Pakistan cricket team till his side’s exit in the ICC World T20, told BT Sport.

Waqar was in favour of Salman Butt’s return, especially after the left-handed batsman made two first-class centuries in domestic cricket this month.

“He was playing really well and also he has served his sentence and punishment and I feel personally that everyone deserves a go,” added Waqar.

“People are going to have different views. He is a good player, he is playing really well.”

Salman Butt is not sure of his return though. Even if Waqar has supported his return, former Australian greats Michael Hussey and Ryan Harris have cautioned Pakistan against bringing the tainted opener back into their setup.

“I’m not a big fan of it. I know Mohammad Amir is playing here, I’m fifty-fifty on that. I obviously don’t think he should be here, but he was 17 years old – whether that was an excuse, I’m still trying to work,” Harris told Fox Sports.

Butt and Amir have not been able to impress Pakistan’s selector despite their good domestic form.

At the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, the duo played for the same team (Water & Port Development Authority). Butt led his team to the title and after having scored 741 runs from 10 matches at an average of 49.40 with 4 centuries and 2 fifties, the former skipper is dreaming of a national call up.

Hussey is not in favour of Salman Butt’s return, even though Pakistan are struggling for a solid opening pair in Test cricket.

“It doesn’t sit well with me. Some would argue he has done his time and been allowed back in, much like Mohammad Amir. But you’ve got to remember Amir was a 17-year-old kid being directed by Salman Butt to do the wrong thing.

“I have a bit more sympathy for Amir. But Salman Butt, it doesn’t sit well to have him back in international cricket,” said Hussey.

First Published: Dec 19, 2016 12:35 IST