The controversial batsman is set to play on his biggest stage since the end of his five-year suspension for spot-fixing in 2016 after being called up by Lahore Qalandars.
Lahore have lost their talisman Mohammad Hafeez for the duration of the tournament due to injury, and 34-year-old Butt has been selected as an experienced replacement to shore up the batting order.
Butt, scorer of eight ODI centuries, most recently played for Lahore Whites in Pakistan’s National T20 Cup – now he has set his sights on impressing national selectors and coach Mickey Arthur.
“I really hope that if I can come good and help the team win then definitely the other things will work out,” Butt told reporters in Lahore on Wednesday before flying to the UAE.
“These things always happen in life. Somebody goes down somebody comes up … nobody can control that. I wish him [Hafeez] all the best in his recovery and hope he’s back for Pakistan.”
Selectors have opted for youth over experience of late, with openers Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq both impressing hugely in ODIs since their debut in 2017.
Pakistan will remain in the UAE for the ODI series against Australia next month, while the World Cup starts in May. Despite the strong competition, Butt hopes to stick around with them.
“Definitely I’ve been keeping my hard work going on,” Butt added. “The thing to learn was how to keep yourself motivated throughout this long time and this long awaited call has come.”
Butt’s first game for Lahore is likely to be against Multan Sultans in Sharjah on Friday.
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