Kolkata: Former Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq who is also the chief selector of the Pakistan cricket team has hinted at a possible return of the spot-fixers to the national team since they have completed their punishment. Speaking as a guest at the Lahore Press Club yesterday, Inzamam while clarifying that Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamir, had committed a sin by getting involved in spot-fixing, said that they should be treated equally. If Amir can return to national duty, so can Butt and Asif, he felt. “They were penalised (by the International Cricket Council). However, only Amir made a comeback to the national team after completing the five-year ban. All the players involved in spot-fixing cases should be penalised under the laws of the ICC and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). Then after completing their punishment they can come back (to the national team),” he added.
The three were banned during Pakistan’s tour of England back in 2010. The International Cricket Council (ICC) handed them a five-year ban. After this the ICC’s laws underwent some amendments, which allowed the banned cricketers to return to domestic cricket six months before their ban ended. However, out of the three, only Amir could manage to make a comeback to the national team.
The support extended by Inzamam will boost up the spirit of Butt and Asif. Butt has looked in good touch and has been amongst runs in domestic cricket. While he is expecting a return to the Test squad, the ongoing spot-fixing issues in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) may delay his comeback. On being asked about this, Butt did acknowledge that the management was still hesitant to select him but that didn’t t affect him. “My motivation was and still is to represent Pakistan again. I want to achieve something great for the country and outperform my previous achievements,” he said.
However, former Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi is dead against the return of the tainted cricketers and he has made his viewpoint clear. But it remains to be seen how the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) handles the situation.
(With inputs from Dawn and The Express Tribune)