Spot-fixing controversy October 16, 2010

Salman Butt keeping hopes alive of return

ESPNcricinfo staff

Salman Butt, the former Pakistan captain who's been provisionally suspended by the ICC for his alleged involvement in the spot-fixing controversy, is continuing with an active training regime and hopes to return to the national side for the series against South Africa in the UAE.

Butt and fast bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir - the three suspended players - have lodged appeals against the ICC's suspension and the hearings will take place in Qatar on October 30 and 31.

"My cricket career was going well and I was also doing well, these allegations have damaged by career," Butt said. "I hope these hurdles are crossed as soon as possible. I think after passing through so much difficulty in your career, your exposure helps you become wiser.

"You start to understand your surroundings better and especially who is more sincere with you. This is a hurdle which is a learning process of life."

Butt said he has continued to follow his daily two-hour training and practice routine so he can be ready for a comeback. "I am working hard and doing my bit. The conditions in Lahore and the UAE are the same so I am preparing hard on playing spin."

Following the allegations, made during the fourth Test at Lord's, the trio were withdrawn from the Pakistan squad for the subsequent ODI series and they returned to Pakistan before being suspended. Pakistan play South Africa in Dubai and Abu Dhabi in a full series, starting this month, comprising two Twenty20s, five ODIs and two Tests.

None of the trio have been named in the limited overs or Test squads for the series.