Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt targets return to national team

Sport360 staff 16:11 20/08/2015
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Butt bats during his last Test for Pakistan.

Former captain Salman Butt is already dreaming about a possible return to the Pakistan national team after the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced the expiry of his match fixing from September 2, 2015.

The ICC has given the green light to Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir to play competitive cricket as of September.

While Amir was expected to return quickly, the reprieves of Butt and Asif are somewhat of a surprise, considering the ICC's view of the pair.

All three players were involved in the infamous spot-fixing incidents during the August 2010 Test against England, which rocked international cricket.

British newspaper The News of the World broke the story and the aforementioned players were later found to take bribes from bookmaker, Mazhar Majeed, to bowl deliberate no-balls.

British police arrested the bookmaker and the ICC banned the three players for different periods; Amir for five years, Asif for seven years (later two years were suspended on specific conditions) and Butt for 10 years (later five years suspended).

“I’m really thankful to ICC for allowing me a second chance and to PCB for helping me complete the rehabilitation process,” Butt told reporters in Lahore.

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“My target is to focus on just cricket and stage a return to international cricket through performances in domestic cricket. I know it won’t be easy to breakthrough into the Pakistan side as there is lot of competition for places but I’m really eager about it and have kept myself fit.”

The left-hander has already been included in Lahore’s T20 team after being cleared but the PCB had to step in to clarify that some formalities were still uncompleted.

They added that while Butt has completed the requirements of ICC, there are certain obligations with the PCB which need to be fulfilled before he can play in domestic cricket.

“I’ve made myself available to PCB for the lecture to youngsters and whenever I’ll be called, I’ll present myself. The youngsters should learn from our mistake and I pray that no one go through such a time what I have been through,” added Butt.

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