Slim chance for Butt, Asif to return
Haroon Rashid, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)’s director domestic cricket, on Monday dismissed the possibility of any chances of spot-fixing convicted players Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt returning to the Pakistan national squad ever again.
“I think, instead on focusing on these two players, the PCB is concentrating on [developing] young players, who have [potentially] long careers ahead,” Haroon said.
As to why it was possible for Asif and Butt to return to the national squad, Haroon pointed at the players’ current fitness level, that is no way suitable to partake in the international level of cricket.
Speaking about the other convicted Mohammad Amir, who was also found to be involved in the spot-fixing scandal during Pakistan’s 2010 tour of England but later made a return to the national squad and also was instrumental in Pakistan’s 2017 ICC Champions Trophy triumph, Harron said the left-arm pacer’s case was different.
“The key point in Amir’s situation was that when the spot-fixing allegations surfaced, Amir was still under nineteen years of age. He also confessed to having fixed sections of the game, and later went on to campaign for the ICC and the PCB spreading awareness about the menaces of fixing. Asif and Salman, however, had not confessed to their involvement in spot-fixing, until they were declared guilty,” Haroon added.
Earlier Haroon also discussed the alleged rift between national team’s head coach Mickey Arthur and veteran all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez. According to him, there was actually nothing between the two, and the environment inside the team dressing room is absolutely fine.