Butt still aims to play again

Umar Farooq

April 17, 2013

Comments: 35 | Text size: A | A

Salman Butt at Lahore airport after his release from jail, June 22, 2012
Salman Butt does not see any reason why he can't play cricket again in a little over two years (file photo) © AFP

Salman Butt, the former Pakistan captain, has accepted that he will now have to serve the rest of his ICC ban after his appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) was rejected although he remains determined to resume his career in little more than two years.

"I have already served two years and eight months and after another two years and four months and I can still play," Butt told reporters at Model Town Green Ground in Lahore, the place where he started playing cricket. Wearing a black polo shirt and blue jeans, he looked far more confident than in his previous public appearance when he returned home after serving seven months in prison.

"I want to play cricket and getting the appeal was the only hope," he said. "I wasn't more than 50 percent sure that the decision would come in my favour, but still there was a hope that I would be able to reduce my ban but now there is no way other than completing rest of my ban."

Butt was given a 10-year ban for his part in the 2010 spot-fixing controversy, five years of which were suspended on condition that, throughout that period, he commits no further breach of the ICC code and that he participates, under the auspices of the Pakistan Cricket Board, in a programme of anti-corruption education.

However, while Butt "accepted the ban" he to discuss any wrongdoing and shunned away any questions about admitted his part in spot-fixing. "I am here to talk about rejected appeal and not the case," he insisted. "Our stance which was on day one, is the currently the same."

ESPNcricinfo understands that if during the first five years of the ban Butt doesn't take part in any educational programme the suspended five years will come into effect. Suspension can be waved only on the condition if he takes part in a PCB anti-corruption education programme. "What I know from my lawyer is that only five years out the ten are effective and I have already spent half of it," Butt said.

He then cited the age of current Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq as a sign that he will have a chance to resume his career. "In the remaining time I want to work hard," he added. "Obviously it's a struggling time but it's always great to rise after fighting with tough times. The captain of the Pakistan team is 39 years old...I will be 30 when I serve the ban in two years time so I don't find any reason not to play cricket."

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

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Sports4Youth on (April 21, 2013, 13:51 GMT)

What is so great about this guy, Salman Butt. He has a batting average of 30 in test matches and 36 in ODI's. I am sure that after a reasonable opportunity Nasir Jamashed & Harris Sohail will prove to be better than this guy. There are many other younsters in Pakistan. Why do you want Salman back?


Posted by applethief on (April 19, 2013, 8:38 GMT)

All this talk of comebacks is dispiriting. Yes, there is some incredible talent lost to Pakistan and world cricket through this affair, but we can't keep looking to them for the future, we need to concentrate on the players we have now. What's the use on suspending development until 2015 for these guys to come back to the national team? Sure, we haven't had a bowler like Amir in a long time and he's a great loss, but all the same, we don't need people who have shown the give less than 100% to the team

Posted by Sports4Youth on (April 19, 2013, 7:33 GMT)

Shame on Zaka.

He says that domestic rout can be given to Butt & Asif after the ban.

Why is the PCB so loving to doubtful charecters and now even proven bad charecters ?


Posted by   on (April 18, 2013, 21:31 GMT)

I think it is fine for him to resume cricket and work again on building a reputation for himself. u cant just end someone's life for 1 mistake and he even is serving his sentence....and whts more, he did not kill anyone, it was a sport and he serves 6 years. Its Ok in my opinion as long as he remains honest in future..

Posted by rohanblue on (April 18, 2013, 19:01 GMT)

v good butt, u made a mistake, u should learn frm that, punishment is to make people better, practice hard, come back in d team as a better stronger player, dnt ever make that mistake again, i m indian bt seriously frm d bottom of my heart i want all 3 of you to play fr pakistan again, u guys r class..........

Posted by   on (April 18, 2013, 15:25 GMT)

He made a mistake, he admits it and due to that he was behind bars for 7 months. Now its payback moment, Come on Dude ,show your admiration towards your motherland.

Posted by am26884 on (April 18, 2013, 14:27 GMT)

Salman should never be given place in playing 15 after his ban as he disgrace the name of our country

Posted by   on (April 18, 2013, 14:25 GMT)

None of 3 players should play for Pakistan. PCB has to set an example, if you cheat "you are done and dusted".

Posted by   on (April 18, 2013, 14:24 GMT)

cant understand who are these people taking of second chance, is this marriage. He already made his money and wasted so many matches and time of viewers. Brought bad name to the sport... is he a kid to be given a second chance ?

Posted by   on (April 18, 2013, 13:59 GMT)

Salman Butt needs to man up and admit that he was involved in the spot fixing. He should take responsibility and tell the people of Pakistan that what he did was wrong and then people won't mind if he comes back and plays cricket in domestic circuit.. It takes a lot of guts and power to say I am sorry.. Till date, he denied that he was involved in spot fixing and as a Pakistani cricket fan I don't want to see him back in the team EVER unless he apologizes to the nation.

Posted by   on (April 18, 2013, 13:56 GMT)

@Tyrion-and-Tywin, good words man, but admitting guilt is a different thing than feeling guilty. He did something bad, everyone knows that, including him. But, in his point of view, someone approached him and he succumbed to temptation. Had not someone carried that sting operation and if no one had offered money, he wouldn't have committed any crime. Did he approach anyone to do something illegal? he didn't, at least in that instance. Of course, the jury couldn't, wouldn't, shouldn't and didn't see this nonsense.

Posted by Geoffrey1 on (April 18, 2013, 13:29 GMT)

I am an Australian and hope that Salman achieves his wish and gets to return to cricket. From my own perspective the original criminal sentences were a total overreaction and probably a response to tabloid based faux indignation. The punishment was not only excessive but incongruous. Other international sporting heroes who have cheated in recent years have been penalised, but rarely with criminal sentences. I would be interested to find out how Salman views the treatment of Lance Armstrong and his compatriots who have been banned for positive drug tests, none of who have seen prison time. To ban him from further participation in the sport is to pile injustice on undeserved suffering.

Posted by   on (April 18, 2013, 13:04 GMT)

no way..people like butt are not needed in the sporting world....his return will only be an insult to the game..even players shd refuse to play if he is selected to play

Posted by Ramu444 on (April 18, 2013, 13:03 GMT)

if he is selected again then i am going to boycott all type of cricket.there are far too many young talented batsmen they should be given a chance instead.

Posted by Hoggy_1989 on (April 18, 2013, 12:45 GMT)

If the PCB bring him back into the fold after his suspension (and indeed the same goes for Asif and Amir), it'd be such a slap in the face for any youngsters who've been playing honestly and rejecting any tempting offers from illegal activities. Yeah, they made a mistake, yeah they're truly sorry...but it doesn't matter. Why they weren't banned for life like many other cricketers who've been caught participating in fixing arrangements still baffles me.

Posted by ArmChairUmpire on (April 18, 2013, 12:40 GMT)

Unfortunately for those, like me, who like to watch attractive stroke play, it is unlikely that Salman Butt will be selected by Pakistan again. It is true that we all make mistakes, and also that serving the ban should be enough reparations; If only the error was quickly acknowledged and the punishment accepted early. I submit that the long drawn out legal wrangling added to the trauma Pakistan Cricket suffered. As it is, Pakistan Cricket is struggling to overcome a myriad of hurdles. That the team continues to do marginally well,l despite it all, is commendable. My recommendation to Salman: Use this time off to study and improve your net worth. Perhaps, you will enter law school and work towards helping other cricketers. You could also find gainful employment as a commentator. You have the knowledge and expertise related to the game. It is only that you lost it when you had the responsibility to be responsible. The last comment especially related to Mohd Amir.

Posted by KK47 on (April 18, 2013, 12:39 GMT)

When Butt took over the captaincy, his position was similar to that of Sourav Ganguly. Young talented side with lot of potential. But the comparison ends there. Ganguly took India to the top whereas Butt took Pakistan to the depths and alongside him took unbelievably talented Amir. A public apology and acceptance of his crime seems the only way to think of a comeback. Good luck to him.

Posted by Cricket_Man on (April 18, 2013, 12:37 GMT)

Only Amir deserves a second chance because he committed a mistake and admitted it too. Butt doesn't deserve a second chance as he committed a mistake, made Amir and Asif commit it too and he is not excepting the fact that he committed something wrong. If he can't learn that what he did was wrong then he doesn't deserve a second chance.

Posted by lightpace on (April 18, 2013, 12:25 GMT)

By ignorance we mistake, and by mistakes we learn. You may make mistakes, but you are not a failure until you start blaming someone else. Personally I don't feel sorry for Salman or Asif because it doesn't seem that they accept their mistake.Amer is far better then these two... I hope ICC handles such shameful acts in similar fashion if committed by other countries' players.

Any man can make mistakes, but only an idiot persists in his error.

- A Pakistani

Posted by EverybodylovesSachin on (April 18, 2013, 12:09 GMT)

He should come back after his ban terms are over. Please do not sympathize with Butt, Asif and Amir. If he comes back before ban it is joke to the system and he is also not showing any remorse for his actions.

Posted by MitBhandari on (April 18, 2013, 12:02 GMT)

Salman, Asif and Amir are GREAT cricketer. Nothing but pure class, talented, skilled and gifted cricketers. I wish them luck for the future. Now that being said, Guys, pls don't call it (what they did) a mistake! Its CRIME. It calls betraying your own country and sell your loyalty for some cheap $. I hope PCB (or any other cricket board) won't select anyone who sell their loyalty.

Posted by avmd on (April 18, 2013, 11:46 GMT)

He committed a crime, being punished, once he completed his term, he should be free to resume his career, that would be justice. Jail time, five year ban, is enough punishment. He should never be the captain again, but if he made it to the Pak playing eleven, I would have no problem.

Posted by   on (April 18, 2013, 8:33 GMT)

it will be hard to return for asif and butt.

Posted by Tyrion-and-Tywin on (April 18, 2013, 7:33 GMT)

Whoever is opposing Butt's return, come on guys, he has served the worst punishment possible! I see not harm in Butt redeeming himself. Who doesnt make mistakes? My only problem is that even now he doesnt admit his guilt (even though the evidence against him is very very clear). Nevertheless, he should get a second chance.

Posted by   on (April 18, 2013, 7:15 GMT)

I will always miss the Centuries he made against India, especially the one he made in Kolkata on the eve of Platinum Jubilee of BCCI.................!!! Fond Memories! Good Luck for Future! Everyone makes mistakes and pays the price, same is with you!

Posted by   on (April 18, 2013, 6:43 GMT)

every one makes mistakes in his life. we, if see in ourselves, how pious we are, and then we will see that we have all done great many mistakes. of course culprit is that person who gets caught. anyway, if he is a strong person, keep his cricketing skills alive, and keep himself fit, why not play cricket again. keep working salman. we will try to forget what bad you did.

Posted by jayraj. on (April 18, 2013, 6:09 GMT)

In life everyone makes mistakes. I sincerely hope and pray that Butt should come back to Pakistan cricket team.

Posted by   on (April 18, 2013, 5:50 GMT)

We dont want to see you both in Pak team again and butt dose not deserve to come back he played with amir cricket too who was innocent....

Posted by   on (April 18, 2013, 4:49 GMT)

by the time he finishes the ban there would be no place for him in the team

Posted by   on (April 18, 2013, 4:29 GMT)

cricket can do without these sportsmen who brought a bad name for cricket and their country

Posted by   on (April 17, 2013, 23:08 GMT)

Butt was a class batsman when he played well. Hope he returns soon!

Posted by   on (April 17, 2013, 19:13 GMT)

its always good to see indians supportive comments for pakistan, @aravind bhai thank you so much bro :)

Posted by Andy_Wright on (April 17, 2013, 16:33 GMT)

The problem is who will sign him? I doubt he'll get into the Pakistan team ever again and no respectable domestic side would take the risk of signing such a poisoned chalice. If Butt was a world-class player perhaps someone might take the risk, but I don't think he's that good, frankly.

Posted by McGorium on (April 17, 2013, 16:06 GMT)

He was a mediocre player when he was in the Pakistan side, and after all this, he'll be a political hot-potato (even if the PCB actually wants to pick him, which itself is unlikely). The unfortunate fact of life is that second chances are hard to come by. Try getting a job if you admit you were in jail for X years on fraud and embezzlement charges. Butt, Asif, and Amir will have a very difficult road back to international cricket. Amir, being the youngest and having the most potential, is probably the one with the best chance of a come-back; but even that is going to be extremely hard, after being banned from all kinds of competitive cricket (even club-level). Karma.

Posted by   on (April 17, 2013, 14:34 GMT)

There you go buddy, we really you want to turn things around and make a comeback and retire as a proud cricketer.

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