Pakistan news June 28, 2013

Butt admits to fixing, apologises


Salman Butt, the banned former Pakistan captain, has publicly admitted to his part in spot-fixing for the first time and issued an apology. He has also indicated his willingness to participate in PCB and ICC rehabilitation programmes and said he still retains ambitions of returning to international cricket.

Butt was given a five-year ban, with another five suspended, from all cricket by the ICC for his part in a scam during the Lord's Test in August 2010. He also served time in prison in England.

In April, Butt and his former team-mate Mohammad Asif lost their appeals to the Court of Arbitration for Sport for the suspensions to be reduced and Dave Richardson, the ICC's chief executive, called on them to admit their wrongdoing and cooperate with the ICC's anti-corruption and security unit (ACSU).

"I admit the decision of the ICC tribunal," Butt said in a brief statement to the media in Lahore. "I said it before and am saying again, that to all those who have been disappointed by my actions I do apologise for them. Also, the [negative] effect it had on cricket's integrity, I would like to apologise for that.

"I want to insist, to all those playing and wanting to play cricket, they must stay away from such wrongdoings because it negatively effects them and the game of cricket."

There will be no immediate implication in the wake of the apology. Butt will have to serve the five-year ban, compulsory under the ACSU code. The remaining five years of his 10-year ban is suspended. After the apology he has to start rehabilitation. In addition to doing that, he has to tell the whole truth to the ACSU and PCB. If he can do all that then he could resume playing, provided he has satisfied ACSU and agrees to further monitoring.

Butt also made another request for a softening of his ICC ban, so that he could play domestic cricket before a possible return for Pakistan. Zaka Asraf, the currently suspended PCB chairman, had previously indicated that there could be a route back for Butt and Asif, once their suspensions had been lifted.

"I want to give my availability for any PCB rehab programme and from the ICC," Butt said. "Since I have only two years left of my ban, I request the ICC to allows me to play in domestic cricket. So by the time my ban ends, I can be available for national selection."

Mohammad Amir, the third Pakistan player found guilty of conspiring to bowl deliberate no-balls at Lord's, also served a custodial sentence in England and received a five-year ban from the ICC. The PCB's interim chairman, Najam Sethi, said earlier in the week that he would request that the ICC consider reducing the suspension. Amir is still only 21, while Butt is 28 and Asif 30.

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mark on July 1, 2013, 21:52 GMT

    Some people om here have got the impression the ban has already been softened and he can play domestic cricket. He can't but has asked for that. My view is he shouldn't and should count himself a vert lucky man if he does so after the ban has expired. One thing I am confident of is he will never play for Pakistan again. It is a crying shame as before the scandal that broke at the end of the tour of England he came across as a decent thoughtful man captaining a side woefully short of batting talent for English conditions but rich on superb bowling.

  • Dummy4 on July 1, 2013, 10:39 GMT

    Too late for mitigation of sentence, that boat sailed a long time again. The problem remains, is he really sorry or only sorry he got caught? Does he still think that what he did was wrong, if he does, then he must give up all those he knows who have been involved in matchfixing, spot betting, etc....then only can any authority even contemplate him being allowed on a cricket field again.

  • adeel on July 1, 2013, 0:52 GMT

    @ Shafiq Ashraf - agreed. a question on lips of millions around the world.

    never allow this man to play again in internation side. had he apologised when he was caught, things would've been different. but NOT NOW!!! PCB and ICC should let him play in domestic cricket but PCB should never select him in national side. besides he was medicore player anyway.

  • mohammad on June 30, 2013, 19:41 GMT

    If Pak cricket wants to have a better future, ban this guy from all types of games for rest of his life so that all other players get a message. When a captain destroys a young bowler like Amir, he should end up in jail for a long time. I hate to see his face.

  • SAHIR on June 30, 2013, 18:10 GMT

    Hell no, Mr Butt you being a captain and doing such stuff to your team you should not be allowed at all to play any kind of a game straight up and Asif being many times a trouble maker for PCB should get lost too,just look the damage they did to Pakistan cricket just imagine Aamir and Asif in champions trophy along with Irfan and Junaid a dream attack but no to Asif and Butt on the other hand Aamir should be given a chance the guy was young,naive and a newcomer looking up to his seniors who used him to gain financial goal i bet with you Aamir never had a clue what that no ball meant

  • Dummy4 on June 30, 2013, 15:39 GMT

    After all the appeals and denials, now he apologises!

  • Cricinfouser on June 30, 2013, 15:14 GMT

    They should just forget about Salman Butt. He is no use for the team. They should bring in M.Amir and M.Asif. Those are world class bowlers. If u remember, Pakistan was a dangerous team when these 2 people were in the team. Now even Bangladesh can beat PAK. They should get rid of every player except Hafeez, Ajmal, Akmal Brothers, Shafiq, Rehman, and Shehzad. These are the only people with consistent performances. They other 2-3 should be the young talent. IT'S TIME TO BRING IN THE YOUNG TALENT! Misbah and Afridi should just retire now.

    So there's no point of your apology, Butt. Forget cricket. Asif and AMir are the ones who deserve the play.


  • Ning-nong on June 30, 2013, 14:20 GMT

    If you really cared about the Pakistan team and Pakistani people, what you would have done is asked for Mohammed Amir's banned to be reduced, you took a young impressionable cricketer under your wing and led him to fall prey to corrupt activity, in the process robbing the nation of a crown jewel that was sure to have broken many records (barring any injuries) and possibly have helped gift Pakistan with a World trophy. If you were sincere in your apology, you should no longer reflect your personal goals for playing in Pakistan colours, but rather would be better you help to bring the next generation players into the Pakistan team, this would best redeem you of your crime!

  • Dummy4 on June 30, 2013, 14:04 GMT

    if this guy gets back into pakistan national team - will be a miracle; being captain and responsible for spot fixing should not be condoned.

  • ju on June 30, 2013, 9:44 GMT

    why are they even letting him play domestic cricket he has ruined the reputation of pakistan and made us lose an extraordinary player like amir

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