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  1. #1
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    "I have served the punishment and I need to be allowed to move on" : Salman Butt

    Once regarded as one of the top left-handed opening batsmen, the former Pakistan captain Salman Butt is now looking to resume his international career after being given permission to play cricket again by the ICC. Debuting in 2003, the thirty-two-year-old Butt had played one hundred and thirty five international games and amassed over five thousand runs for his country until the ICC imposed ban was enforced in 2010.

    In an interview with PakPassion.net, Butt spoke about his remorse for past actions, his road to redemption, his determination to return to international cricket on the back of some robust domestic performances, views on Misbah-ul-Haq's handling of the Test team since 2010 and whether he is mentally ready to make a return to the Pakistan team.





    PakPassion.net : How difficult has it been to make a comeback to cricket after your five year ban?

    Salman Butt : It's not been that difficult actually. It's been easy because during these past five and a half years I have been training every day and practising wherever I could and I tried to make the most of the time that I was away from cricket. I kept myself fit and kept going and remained determined. Putting in those hard yards during my ban made things easier for my comeback.


    PakPassion.net : While you were banned, were there any doubts in your mind about whether you would play cricket again?

    Salman Butt : I'm not sure about what other people thought, but I had faith that I would come back and play cricket again. The most important thing for me was to make a good start and scoring a century in my first innings was a huge boost. It sent out a message that there were no issues with my fitness and that there were no self-doubts. In the first competition that I played in I batted for forty or more overs in five out of the first seven games and never came off the field for any injury or rest or anything else. So the tone was set and a good start in my comeback really helped me.


    PakPassion.net : Looking back now, how do you feel about throwing away five years of your cricket career at a point when you were Pakistan's Test captain?

    Salman Butt : Anyone in my position would be frustrated. To lose five years of cricket at a time when I was at my peak is very sad. When I think about it I feel very sad with what occurred.


    PakPassion.net : Any remorse or regrets from yourself regarding the events of 2010?

    Salman Butt : Yes definitely, there are lots of regrets. I've had to go through a long period of rehabilitation and I am very remorseful. During my rehabilitation I wanted to educate young cricketers about the dangers of such actions and to convey the right message to cricketers, especially young cricketers. To be honest, I really don't get a nice feeling whenever I think back about what happened.


    PakPassion.net : I guess whilst it's difficult to forget the events of the past, you need to move forward with your career?

    Salman Butt : Now that I have entered a professional period in my career once again and I am back playing cricket, I want to look to the future and not concentrate too much on what happened in the past and the events of the past. If I keep thinking about the past that will not allow me to move freely in the future.


    PakPassion.net : The 'Fake Sheikh', Mazher Mahmood was recently found guilty of conspiring to pervert the course of justice. Have you instructed your legal representatives to pursue any action against him?

    Salman Butt : I think that is a question for my legal representatives. I've been told not to make any comments regarding this matter as my legal team is looking into the matter for me.


    PakPassion.net : You made a sensational start to domestic cricket after your comeback and now I guess it's down to putting in some solid performances in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy?

    Salman Butt : I'm enjoying my cricket. I'm hitting the ball well and feeling good and I'm just a couple of big innings away and hopefully not too far from getting a few good scores. Once I have a hundred or two under my belt then I will be fine. I've found some unusual and unlucky ways to get dismissed lately but I'm confident and happy with the way I'm middling the ball and I'm sure some big scores are coming soon.


    PakPassion.net : Mohammad Amir had an altercation with an opposition player when he made his comeback. How have team-mates and opposition players been towards you?

    Salman Butt : Things on the field can happen in the heat of the moment and there can be a rush of blood between players which I guess is what happened in that incident involving Amir. But I've had no problems. I have been fine with everybody. My team-mates and the opposition players have been fine with me. I've received a warm welcome and I have had no incidents with anybody so far.


    PakPassion.net : As Mohammad Amir made his comeback to cricket, you had to wait on the sidelines. That must have been frustrating for you?

    Salman Butt : Anyone in our position was desperate to play cricket again and would love to be back playing cricket as soon as possible and at that time it was frustrating to have to wait. As cricket is my passion, I wanted to come back as soon as possible but there was a wait involved in this process which I had to bear patiently. However thankfully I am back now and I want to make up for lost time and get to the place that I want to be.


    PakPassion.net : Misbah-ul-Haq took over as Test captain in 2010 when Pakistan cricket was in turmoil. You must admire the work he has done and perhaps think that it could have been you leading your team to such success?

    Salman Butt : He deserves a lot of credit. He's been a wonderful captain. He's given Pakistan cricket some very proud moments. He is a person who has held the ship together and at the same time he himself has performed wonderfully. Regarding if it could have been me in those shoes, I can't move things back and think about what could have been, I must move forward.


    PakPassion.net : There is still some resentment from fans against your comeback and whether you should be allowed to play for Pakistan again. How do you feel about that?

    Salman Butt : If serving a punishment doesn't change you and people still tag you, then we should create another country or another place for those people to serve their punishments in isolation and away from the rest of society. Is that what people want? Look, I have served the punishment and I need to be allowed to move on and I feel there is no harm in me playing cricket again. It's up to the Almighty to forgive us. I cannot keep on apologising everywhere I go. I have done my punishment and hope people realise and accept this.


    PakPassion.net : You are back in the same team (WAPDA) as Mohammad Asif. How does that feel and how is he doing as a bowler?

    Salman Butt : Firstly there is no harm in me being in the same team as Asif who is doing really well as a bowler. The likes of Mohammad Asif and Wasim Akram are not born every day and cannot be created by coaches. If coaches could create such players there would be hundreds of them. We must respect the skill level that Asif still possesses. He has a gift from God and that is still with him and can be seen by all.


    PakPassion.net : Do you believe that as a batsman you can reach the same levels as at the time when you were at your best for Pakistan?

    Salman Butt : I've only been seen by the people who have come to watch the matches recently since my comeback, so the vast majority have not seen me batting. I want to get back to the place I was when I was at my best. At the moment I am in a gradual process and I don't want to boast about what I can do regarding my game. There's hard work ahead and that is my focus.


    PakPassion.net : There were issues when Mohammad Amir came back into international cricket with some players not wanting to play in the same team as him. Already there have been some voices against your return to international cricket. How do you feel about this?

    Salman Butt : I'm not sure about the thought process of those individuals regarding my comeback and what their intentions were. My focus is on coming back and if the Almighty is with me then nobody can stop my international return. But, if the Almighty does not wish for me to do so, then nothing in this world can make me play international cricket again.


    PakPassion.net : Do you think that after the events of 2010 and your subsequent ban, you still have the mental toughness to play international cricket?

    Salman Butt : If I felt that I wasn't mentally tough enough to play for Pakistan again then I wouldn't have bothered making a comeback. I've had to do my rehabilitation and put in some extra time during my ban. I have scored runs in every competition that I have played in so far and that is whilst playing against players who are currently playing for Pakistan. I don't think there will be any issues mentally or physically. It's just about going out there and performing and I'm sure everything will be fine.


    PakPassion.net : Have any of the selectors been in touch with you?

    Salman Butt : They watched me in the One-Day tournament and they watched me in the National Twenty20 Cup and of course they will be monitoring what is going on in the Quaid-E-Azam Trophy at the moment so there is no shortage of attention. It's just about getting a couple of big scores to give them a gentle reminder. I have faith in the selectors that they will give me the same chance as anyone else. There are no guarantees over selection and all I can do is to perform in domestic cricket and leave the rest to the selection committee.


    PakPassion.net : The Pakistan top six in Test cricket is a settled unit. Do you think you can force your way into the Pakistan Test team once again?

    Salman Butt : Playing for Pakistan is my ultimate goal and nobody is guaranteed a place in the Pakistan team forever. It's all about performances and whenever the need arises for me then I will be ready. There is no set place for anyone in the national team. Every domestic player has to be ready to perform at the highest level when needed and I am no different. I am confident that if and when my chance arises I will be ready for the challenge of international cricket once again.



  2. #2
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    Very nice interview. Some teasing questions from @Saj bhai. Salman can forget about a comeback in tests as long as Misbah and Younis are in the team.

    IMO he also isn't suitable for the LOIs brand of aggressive cricket that we want to play so I don't think he'll be in the ODI/T20 XI anytime soon, unless, he improves his strike rate.
    Last edited by Saj; 7th November 2016 at 17:09.

  3. #3
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    The fact is, as I'm sure @Slog will point out, that he actually has not performed terribly well in the First Class QEA tournament.

    And then he skipped the latest match.

    Much as I think he is the best Pakistan opener, he does have to prove it. He'd have been useful in Australia, and I resent the idea of him delaying his comeback until the hardest tour is over.

  4. #4
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    The main response that carries a huge amount of substance is his comment that Mohammad Asif is bowling by far the best of any active Pakistani.

    I don't think Salman Butt has earned a ticket to Australia. But I think the selectors have lost their minds if they don't take Mohammad Asif.
    Last edited by MenInG; 7th November 2016 at 13:03.

  5. #5
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    Next in line to replace Sami Aslam: Sharjeel, then Fakhar, then Salman.


    "Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all." --Aristotle

  6. #6
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    This selfish player won't make a comeback. In test sami aslam is million times better then him and so is sharjeel in odi's. By the way he plays slower then shehzad in odi's so no chance for him. I can't believe waqar wanted him in the t20 world cup according to reports shows how pathetic waqar was as a coach.

  7. #7
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    Well Salman should know that his past will not desert him that easily. He can try but unless he sets the domestic scene on fire, chances are slim.

    Like anyone else, he also deserves a shot at redemption. We must not hold his past as a reason for non-selection for future teams. He has made it clear that he has moved on and is genuinely trying to make an attempt to win back a place.


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  8. #8
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    Doesn't sound remorseful;never has,really,in any of his interviews.

  9. #9
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    All he can do is score runs in domestic and see what happens. Also not everyone is going to be welcoming him back if he did make a comeback, some people just can't forgive what he did so he needs to expect that everyone won't be welcoming. Some thought his punishment was lenient.

    But it was a good interview for the most part, thanks for good work PP.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saj View Post
    PakPassion.net : Mohammad Amir had an altercation with an opposition player when he made his comeback. How have team-mates and opposition players been towards you?
    When was this?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    The fact is, as I'm sure @Slog will point out, that he actually has not performed terribly well in the First Class QEA tournament.

    And then he skipped the latest match.

    Much as I think he is the best Pakistan opener, he does have to prove it. He'd have been useful in Australia, and I resent the idea of him delaying his comeback until the hardest tour is over.
    Glad you accept it

  12. #12
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    Btw if one doesn't know the context of what happened you would think that he was somehow the aggrieved party

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gotham Cronie View Post
    When was this?
    http://www.pakpassion.net/ppforum/sh...pdate-Post-145


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  14. #14
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    225 runs in 8 innings this season , even worse average than his already mediocre test average.


    It is either a heartache or a headache ..Argh relationships.

  15. #15
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    Cricket has changed since he last played for Pakistan. Doubt if he has the strike rate needed in modern times.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gotham Cronie View Post
    When was this?
    October last year.



  17. #17
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    He's always given good interviews.

    Needs to pick up his form because he's not doing enough for now in FC cricket. It's just the start though.


    May the Hawks Fly Forever. Lightning Hawks CC -- Team Thread.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slog View Post
    Glad you accept it
    Certainly - I fully accept that Butt needs to perform better at First Class level to be selected.

    But there is a reason why I would leave the door open for him to do so.

    Apartheid in South Africa was the most evil human curse since the Nazis, as their government lavished all its spending on the white 5% of the population and left non-whites to misery and early deaths.

    We all knew - and it was later admitted - that Rebel cricket tourists to South Africa were paid by the Apartheid government, paid with money that could and should have educated and provided health care to the blighted 95%.

    An international treaty - the Gleneagles Agreement - forced each country to ban its Apartheid Rebel Tourists, and my contempt for them was much greater even than a proud Pakistani's anger and hatred towards Salman Butt.

    Yet as soon as those bans elapsed, with almost indecent haste Australia recalled Terry Alderman, England selected Graham Gooch and John Emburey and, astonishingly, the West Indies selected Ezra Moseley. Indeeed their new bowling coach in the UAE was a former Apartheid Rebel.

    That taught me the lesson that the opposition will generally pick their newly unbanned players however disturbing their offences were which saw them banned. I guess you can add to that Shane Warne after his drugs ban and after his fine for giving information to fixers.

    So I am resigned to formerly banned players returning. But they should only be selected if they perform.

    And Salman Butt hasn't yet.

  19. #19
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    Even IF Salman was to perform and "deserve" a call up, i hope the PCB would be hesitant - i agree players (Amir, Asif) do deserve another chance, but for someone whom is well off and the captain of Pakistan to do this - coming back into the team would not only bring it's own level of toxicity but imagine playing alongside Salman, you would not trust him - team chemistry is pivotal to a team's performance.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rayyman View Post
    Next in line to replace Sami Aslam: Sharjeel, then Fakhar, then Salman.
    Why exactly would we need to replace Sami?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ellipsism View Post
    Why exactly would we need to replace Sami?
    If he fails. Why else?


    "Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all." --Aristotle

  22. #22
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    Personally selecting Salman would be a backward step as right now there are plenty of young openers in Pakistan domestic circuit that need to be blooded and groomed. Not to be stopped to let a 31 soon to be 32 year old take his old place back. Mohammad Amir was allowed back to comeback due to his age and the talent he posses

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rayyman View Post
    If he fails. Why else?
    This is the problem with PCB Mentality, he's failed one or two matches and dropped.

    IF Sami was dropped, Fakar and Hafeez would be considered before Salman. Maybe even


    If you runs fast.. you bowls fast. - Rawalpindi Xpress.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by R1ddlR View Post
    This is the problem with PCB Mentality, he's failed one or two matches and dropped.

    IF Sami was dropped, Fakar and Hafeez would be considered before Salman. Maybe even
    He's going to Australia.

    At least one of the top order batsmen will end up with a broken hand or broken finger.

    So you need to assume that this is one tour where reserves will almost certainly have to play.

    Also, we have no idea whether Sami Aslam and Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq are capable of performing on wickets with extra bounce. The only one where Shafiq performed in South Africa four years ago was the flattest wicket in the country.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by R1ddlR View Post
    This is the problem with PCB Mentality, he's failed one or two matches and dropped.

    IF Sami was dropped, Fakar and Hafeez would be considered before Salman. Maybe even
    Was talking about lefties though.


    "Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all." --Aristotle

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    He's going to Australia.

    At least one of the top order batsmen will end up with a broken hand or broken finger.

    So you need to assume that this is one tour where reserves will almost certainly have to play.

    Also, we have no idea whether Sami Aslam and Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq are capable of performing on wickets with extra bounce. The only one where Shafiq performed in South Africa four years ago was the flattest wicket in the country.
    His average against AUS (44) is the only thing that could warrant a return, but his recent form and relationship with players like (YK, MISHHBAH, AMIR, AZHAR) is hopefully the one that will stop his return.

    Pakistani openers are never going to be consistently 100/0 etc. i would rather play Sami and take along Shan/Sharjeel/Fakhar/Hafeez as replacements, how are we ever going to produce good cricketers for the future that have no experience on bouncy wickets when we keep taking people like Salman on tour instead of the youngsters?


    If you runs fast.. you bowls fast. - Rawalpindi Xpress.

  27. #27
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    If he is performing well at domestic level the should be given a chance. There can't be one rule for Amir and one for the other two that were involved in that infamous incident.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rayyman View Post
    If he fails. Why else?
    If he fails?... What?

    He's performed in every test match he's played in. Unless he has a string of consistent poor performances he isn't going anywhere.

    Sharjeel and Fakhar aren't even half the test match openers Sami is.

    Sharjeel and Fakhar aren't even test players let alone openers.
    Last edited by Bilal7; 8th November 2016 at 03:36.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ellipsism View Post
    If he fails?... What?

    He's performed in every test match he's played in. Unless he has a string of consistent poor performances he isn't going anywhere.

    Sharjeel and Fakhar aren't even half the test match openers Sami is.

    Sharjeel and Fakhar aren't even test players let alone openers.
    That's when someone can replace him. Fakhar is dong well in QEA.


    "Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all." --Aristotle

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rayyman View Post
    That's when someone can replace him. Fakhar is dong well in QEA.
    Fakhar is a hack whom feasts off spinners.

  31. #31
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    Every series that he misses, makes his future selection that much difficult.


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  32. #32
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    With Sami Aslam opening at the moment and doing well, it makes Butt's comeback very difficult.

    I guess the alternative if he does well in domestic cricket is to slot him in at 3 and move Shafiq down the order again once YK/Misbah call it a day.



  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saj View Post
    October last year.
    Thank you

  34. #34
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    Scores his first Fc hundred after 6 years.

    After his hot PP Interview


    Mujhay hai Hukm e Azaa-n

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by TalentSpotterPk View Post
    Scores his first Fc hundred after 6 years.

    After his hot PP Interview
    Yeah, but he's only averaging 37.44 in First Class cricket.

    He's blown his chance at going to Australia. Even if he scores big in the remaining 3-4 matches, it's getting too late to get a visa for a convicted criminal.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    Yeah, but he's only averaging 37.44 in First Class cricket.

    He's blown his chance at going to Australia. Even if he scores big in the remaining 3-4 matches, it's getting too late to get a visa for a convicted criminal.

    Suppose He wins Qea Trophy for Wapda with his batting and captaincy and Inzi wants to pick him. He cannot get visa in 4 weeks ?


    Salman does not have a realistic chance for Australia unless 1 of the 3 openers get injured. I don't see Sharjeel getting a Test in NZ so Selectors won't drop him for the tour of Australia.


    Mujhay hai Hukm e Azaa-n

  37. #37
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    This is an interview of Salman Butt. So pls stick to the topic. Other threads for discussing other players.


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  38. #38
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    I don't personally want him in the team but if he does get selected providing he scores runs at the FC level and is fit then I can't really argue against it or take the moral high ground because he has been punished just like Asif and Amir who should also be allowed to participate subject to form and fitness.

  39. #39
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    He has a fair point. He served his punishment.

    If amir, can get selected, on that same standard, he deserves another chance IF he performs.

  40. #40
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    Well, with his criminal record he won't get visa to any common wealth country. I don't think Australia, New Zealand, England and Caribbean countries (and may be south Africa too) will allow him entry for next ten years. What's the point of selecting him only for UAE matches. He has always been FTB and would probably perform there too but it will be gross injustice with other young players who perform better or equal to him in first class. He should either read the writing on wall and retire or voluntarily retire in favor of Pakistani cricket and cricketers.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by taxzu View Post
    Well, with his criminal record he won't get visa to any common wealth country. I don't think Australia, New Zealand, England and Caribbean countries (and may be south Africa too) will allow him entry for next ten years. What's the point of selecting him only for UAE matches. He has always been FTB and would probably perform there too but it will be gross injustice with other young players who perform better or equal to him in first class. He should either read the writing on wall and retire or voluntarily retire in favor of Pakistani cricket and cricketers.
    No, that's not how it works.

    England is a problem not because of the criminal record but because he agreed to be deported after he was released from jail.

    The criminal record is easily got past - bear in mind, Amir has already been to England and New Zealand.

    BTW, there are no younger players who have outperformed him. Sami Aslam has made a promising start but has yet to make a Test century after 7 matches. Azhar Ali is the same age and had an inferior record when both he and Salman Butt were eligible to be selected in the period up to 2010.

    You then go down to the likes of Nasir Jamshed and Khurram Manzoor and Sharjeel Khan, who have no record of performing at Test level, and Hafeez whose record outside Asia is the second worst in the history of cricket - much, much worse than Salman Butt's!

  42. #42
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    As far as the Test team is concerned, he's up against Sami Aslam, Azhar Ali and Shan Masood.



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