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Controversy in Pakistan cricket over Salman Butt

By Vipin - 2023-12-06 12:31:54
Controversy in Pakistan cricket over Salman Butt

Since the World Cup tournament, many controversies have been associated with Pakistan cricket.

Now in this series, the matter of including former cricketer Salman Butt in the team's selection committee and showing him the way out the very next day has also been added. In fact, after winning only four matches in the ODI World Cup, many changes took place one by one in the Pakistan cricket team. First Babar Azam left the captaincy of all three formats. After this, Shaheen Shah Afridi was given the captaincy of T-20 and Shan Masood was given the captaincy of Test cricket,.

After this development, Wahab Riaz was appointed the chief selector of the team in place of Inzamam-ul-Haq. PCB chose former cricketers Salman Butt, Kamran Akmal and Rao Iftikhar Anjum as advisors to Wahab Riaz. However, Butt's appointment was mired in controversy.

Former cricketer Rameez Raja also criticized the appointment of Salman Butt. Salman Butt was found guilty of match fixing in 2010. For this, the International Cricket Board (ICC) had also banned Salman Butt. He also spent a few months in London jail. When questions were raised on PCB, Wahab Riaz reviewed the decision and removed Salman Butt from the selection committee within a day of his appointment.

But now this decision is also not being liked by some former Pakistani cricketers. Wasim Akram has advised the Pakistan Cricket Board to stick to its decision on the removal of Salman Butt.

Why is there an uproar in Pakistan cricket

Last Friday, the PCB appointed Kamran Akmal, Rao Iftikhar Anjum and Salman Butt as advisory members to chief selector Wahab Riaz. These three had to assume their responsibilities with immediate effect. Anjum and Akmal have already been associated with the selection process of PCB. But for the first time after returning after the ban in 2010, Salman Butt was appointed to an official post in PCB.


Although Riaz and Akmal were also sent notices from the ICC in this spot-fixing case, the ban was imposed only on Butt. After this appointment, there was a lot of controversy over this decision in the Pakistani media. An article published in Dawn News described it as 'PCB's most tainted appointment'.

Former cricketer Rameez Raja termed this decision as 'unfortunate'. Rameez Raja told 'Cricbuzz', "It is very unfortunate that there is a member of the selection committee who can take decisions giving priority to his personal relationships during team selection and the other has been in jail for match fixing." The matter gained further momentum when the Pakistan Prime Minister's office also issued a statement on this entire controversy.

According to the news of Dawn News, Pakistan's PMO issued a statement saying that "The Prime Minister has taken cognizance of the appointment of controversial former cricket player Salman Butt." Pakistan's caretaker PM Anwarul Haq Kakar also said that there is no dearth of talent in the country and the selection committee should remain free from any controversy. The PM also directed to include 'non-controversial and reputed selectors' in the selection committee on the basis of merit.

Mention of Azharuddin and Ajay Jadeja

Amidst the questions being raised on Salman Butt, Chief Selector Wahab Riaz held a press conference on Saturday itself and expressed anger on the media.

He said in the press conference, "Some media houses are probably doing propaganda and they are trying to make things worse and associate me with them. As the Chief Selector, it will be my decision to Who will be the people working? People are talking about friendship between me and Salman. Therefore, I announce to reverse this decision. I have already talked to Salman Butt and told him that he is part of my team. "Can't be a part. I don't want people to associate us in any way."

Mo. Azhruddin

However, in response to a question, Riyaz clarified that Salman Butt has suffered the punishment for what happened and now he should move ahead from those things. Riyaz also said that Salman Butt has been a brilliant cricketer and that is why he wanted his cooperation. But when asked whether the decision to remove Salman Butt from the post within a day was taken due to pressure from the Prime Minister, Riyaz replied in the negative.

During this, Wahab Riaz also gave the example of former Indian cricketers Mohammad Azharuddin and Ajay Jadeja. He said that both were accused of match fixing but despite this they are now holding official positions.

He said, "This example is seen in our neighboring country itself. Mohammad Azharuddin is the president of a cricket association and Jadeja was a batting consultant for the Afghanistan team during the World Cup. These people are working in the world of cricket and no one else There is no commotion."

Riyaz clearly said that he thought of reversing this decision because it was being said that he was given the post because of his friendship with Salman Butt. Former Pakistani cricketer Wasim Akram criticized the cricket board after the decision regarding Butt was reversed.


Wasim Akram shared a video in which he said, "Don't hold press conferences after every three minutes. Stick to your decision. If you have taken a decision, you must have thought about its consequences also. Be brave." After this, the PCB issued a statement saying that the decision to appoint Butt was considered and after a thorough review it was decided that he will not be included in the committee as an advisory member.

PCB also said that only the Chief Selector has the right to appoint any member who gives suggestions and information to the selection committee.

Butt, Spot fixing and Years of Ban

By the time Salman Butt was banned in 2010, he had played 33 Tests, 78 ODIs and 24 T20 matches for Pakistan. At the time of the ban, he was the captain of the Pakistan cricket team. He was also a part of Pakistan's T20 World Cup winning team in 2009.

Salman Butt's name came up in spot fixing during the test match at Lord's ground. He was banned for five years and also had to serve his sentence in jail in England.


In 2010, during the Test match against England, Butt, while being the captain, had asked his fast bowlers Mohammad Aamir and Mohammad Asif to bowl no-balls in exchange for a huge amount. After being proven guilty, Butt was jailed for two and a half years but was released early.

ICC had also banned Mohammad Aamir and Mohammad Asif in this case. Wahab Riaz was also interrogated in this case but no charges were leveled against him. After the ban ended, Butt never returned to the Pakistan cricket team. However, in the year 2020, he was offered the post of commentator by PCB.

Also Read: Least runs Successfully Defended by a bowler in Last over

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