Pakistan news December 19, 2016

Salman Butt deserves a recall, says Waqar

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Waqar Younis believes Salman Butt deserves another go in the national side based on his domestic form © AFP

Former Pakistan fast bowler and coach Waqar Younis believes Salman Butt should be recalled to the national team based on his recent form, now that he has served his ban for spot-fixing.

Waqar was Pakistan's coach during the infamous Lord's Test in 2010, when Butt was found guilty of orchestrating the delivery of no-balls from fast bowlers Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif. All three of them served bans, but only Amir returned to the national team since.

Waqar said he was in favour of Butt returning based on his recent domestic form, which included two centuries in the final of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy that helped his team win their maiden title.

"He was playing really well and also he has served his sentence and punishment and I feel personally that everyone deserves a go," Waqar said to BT Sport. "People are going to have different views. He is a good player, he is playing really well."

Speaking to ESPNcricinfo during the first-class final, Butt had reiterated his desire to play for Pakistan again.

"I am knocking very hard on selectors' doors," Butt had said after the second day's play. "I don't want to break [down] but I want to keep myself fit and keep my form alive. With my wisdom, I am trying my best with the best of my intention. Being selected isn't my choice, it's they [the selectors] who have to decide. I have a wish and always want to be in every squad. I have the capacity but that is something the selectors have to tell and decide."

After the Asia Cup earlier this year, Waqar, Pakistan's coach at the time, had intended to include Butt in the World T20 squad, an idea that was turned down by PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan. The PCB wanted Butt to play an entire first-class season to prove his fitness, form and utility.

Butt was the second highest run-getter in the National T20 Cup this year, scoring 350 runs in eight innings. He followed that up with 749 runs at 49.40 in the first-class season. However, the PCB has been reluctant so far in the case of both Butt and Asif, and haven't shown them the same leniency that was granted to Amir.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • cricfan87432777 on March 22, 2017, 1:16 GMT

    if we sentenced for particular crime we shouldn't talk repeat and repeat. we must give a chance for. otherwise should have punished life ban

  • cricfan96800946 on January 20, 2017, 2:32 GMT

    he doesnot deserve any chance even of his performance. ahmed shehzad is the most deserve player.

  • JohannK on December 23, 2016, 12:14 GMT

    Waseem Bukhari I FULLY agree with you. Butt can be allowed to play his heart out on the domestic circuit - even helping to develop younger players, but his leadership role in the match fixing saga means he is unfit for national selection regardless of alternative options.

  • mkazmi on December 22, 2016, 18:30 GMT

    Never Again!!! He was captain at the time in 2010 and the way he kept on denying, denying, denying,

  • iqbal7861 on December 22, 2016, 3:31 GMT

    Taking a wild wild guess here but outta the 49% of the people supporting Butt's selection prob 48% are of the Punjab province. A closer look at the domestic circuit and anyone with cricketing knowledge can tell there are far better options available.

  • BabuRaoGanpaRaoAAPTE on December 22, 2016, 1:40 GMT

    Look at the poll on this page, 49℅ are OK with his recall, 51℅ are not. It can't get any closer. If he keeps performing like this in domestic then it's very unfair to keep him out. PCB needs to have a clear direction. If they are against him and Asif then they should announce explicitly so that these guys are not wasting their time, and could start looking at alternate careers/opportunities. Else PCB needs to provide criteria and timeline. PCB had said they must prove themselves over 1 full domestic season, Butt has done that already. All I m saying is, treat this issue in a professional manner. Don't hide from it. The longer they deliberate, the more opportunities they provide media to voice their comments. Waqar's timing couldn't have been any worse, in the middle of test series in Australia where both Azhar & Sami are battling out in tough conditions. Speculation over Salman just distracts the team from an already tough task at hand.

  • Pelham_Barton on December 21, 2016, 8:38 GMT

    My previous attempt to submit this point was not accepted, so I shall try again without the reference to a previous article on this website. Salman Butt did not stay in custody for the time indicated by the judge in passing sentence, but took advantage of a scheme allowing early release in return for being deported from the UK. It was reported at the time that this means he cannot return to the UK for 10 years. I have seen nothing to suggest that this ban has been lifted - it is not within the power of the cricketing authorities to do so. While I am prepared to be corrected on this matter of fact, my conclusion from the facts available to me is that Salman Butt cannot be said to have served his time in the way that the other two cricketers involved undoubtedly have done.

  • Match_Referee on December 21, 2016, 4:40 GMT

    Yes, he deserves a recall. I am not justifying his act but after duly serving whatever punishment given, then there is no point in not allowing to play cricket. If Aamir can come back and Butt also should. Whether his punishment is stricter or not, is to be decided by ICC and laws. He already lost his reputation, age, respect and money, just give him second chance to prove.

  • cricketistheway on December 21, 2016, 2:13 GMT

    Agree an disagree with Waseem Bukhari. Agree that Butt should not be part of the national team since he was the one who orchestrated and recruited others as Captain of Pakistan. Disagree that the openers are doing well at this time. Especially in limited overs. Azhar does not belong in limited overs cricket. Both test openers are too defensive. But then that is usually the state of mind of our batsmen-- either attack like crazy or don't score at all. Sometimes they almost behave as if they are afraid of scoring runs. They allow the bowlers to dominate, never challenge them. What better opportunity for opening bowlers. Take your time to settle in to a rhythm knowing no one is going to hit boundaries off you any way. They can experiment all they want and then figure out what works. This type of batting has never worked.

  • mrhamilton on December 20, 2016, 18:25 GMT

    Butts selection would be madness. He was the most greedy of cricketers and for a captain to do what he did. He should be allowed to play T20 around the world if his form is so good and domestic cricket but Internationals.....no way .madness.He had a test average of 31 he hardly set the world alight. This team is in a different galaxy the last 6 years and are very close to the pinnacle of world rankings. why undermine all that YK, Misbah, Shafiq, AA, Safraz and others have achieved in the batting line up. People like Fawad Alam are still ignored. Hafeez and Shahzad are far better for the opening spots than Butt if change was needed but change isn't needed sami aslam and co are doing fine on a challenging schedule and no point ditching them now. Butt is nearly 33 and was never test class anyway. Mohammed Asif is sorely missed and must be given a chance as the 4th seamer.