Salman Butt is eyeing a “new beginning” after a superb century on his return to domestic cricket following his spot-fixing ban.
The former Pakistan captain was banned for five years, with a further five suspended, after being found guilty of instructing bowlers Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif to bowl deliberate no-balls during the Lord’s Test against England in 2010.
Amir has been named in Pakistan’s limited-overs squad for the upcoming tour of New Zealand while Asif featured alongside Butt for the Water and Power Development Authority team against the Federally Administered Tribal Areas in the national one-day cup.
Asif took two for 22 in his six overs but it was opening batsman Butt’s 135 which set up a 141-run win.
The 31-year-old hit 14 fours and faced 143 balls, sharing in partnerships of 115 and 92 for the first two wickets in a total of 277 for seven.
He told journalists in Pakistan after the match: “This is the start and I hope it is the new beginning. I will try to maintain this performance. As long as I get more matches I will improve and my rhythm will be better.
“I did a lot of work to keep myself in best shape. Since I wasn’t allowed to play cricket for registered clubs, I had been training at unregistered facilities and the result is there.”
FATA were bowled out for 136 in reply, Asif removing openers Fawad Khan and Rehan Afridi.
And unlike Butt, 33-year-old Asif stated his aim to play for Pakistan again.
“This one-day tournament will help to gauge where I stand as a bowler,” he said. “International cricket is my target, but I have to do well in the domestic matches before I can hope for that.”
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