PCB removes Salman Butt from the Selection Panel: A decision reversed by the PCB chief selector Wahab Riaz

PCB removes Salman Butt from the selection panel after including him as a consultant member. After a detailed review, the PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board) chief selector Wahab Riaz reversed his decision by not including the former cricketer in the National Selection Panel.

Butt’s inclusion in the national selection panel received enormous criticism from fans.

The spot-fixing allegations in 2010 against England in Tests led to a five-year international ban for Salman Butt.  Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir were the teammates along with Salman Butt in the spot-fixing issues. Asif and Amir upon Butt’s command deliberately bowled a maximum of no-balls at the Lord’s.

Out of the two-and-half year’s term, Salman Butt has spent 7 months at Canterbury prison in southeast England. Whereas, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif each completed half of their one-year and six-month sentences.

However, Salman Butt managed to return in 2016 only for the domestic league matches of cricket. Butt was able to enjoy as a batsman and captain in domestic leagues, but was never considered a part of the international cricket team.

The 39-year-old Pakistani cricketer’s career concluded after playing 33 Tests, 78 ODIs, and 24 T20Is before undergoing a five-year ban.

On Friday, 1st December 2023, Salman Butt along with former players such as Kamran Akmal and Rao Iftikhar Anjum, joined the panel as a consultant member.

Moreover, Wahab Riaz added an unexpected twist to the PCB selection strategy by removing Salman Butt from the assigned role. 

PCB removes Salman Butt from the Selection Panel: Why Wahab Riaz reversed his decision?

PCB removes Salman Butt from the selection panel by supporting Wahab Riaz. Also, the board clarified that Wahab Riaz’s decision to include Salman Butt in the National Selection Panel was under review. After a detailed consideration, Wahab Riaz decided to remove Salman Butt.

Furthermore, PCB stated that the authority to choose a consultant member in the national selection panel solely lies with the chief selector. Also, the selection panel will soon reveal the inclusion of additional members.

Additionally, a statement was released from the Pakistan Prime Minister- Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar’s office. The notice stated a strict instruction from Pakistan’s PM not to include the former players in the selection committee involved in a spot-fixing controversy. 

According to the PM, there isn’t a shortage of players in their country. The selection committee of members for a reputed sport like cricket should be uncontroversial.

The PM instructed to include selectors with a good reputation and track record in the selection panel.

PCB removes Salman Butt from the Selection Panel: Wahab Riaz shares important message in a press conference

Recently, Wahab Riaz arranged a press conference at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium on Saturday (3rd December 2023).

Wahab Riaz as a chief selector of PCB removes Salman Butt from the selection panel by giving an important clarification to the reporters:

“I am aware of the fact that numerous individuals were speaking negatively about me and Butt. Therefore, I reverted my decision. Already, I have discussed with Salman Butt and I have mentioned it clearly that he cannot be a part of my team.

Some people as well as the media are resorting to promotion. As we have been working transparently under the chairman Zaka Ashraf, I dedicate my thankfulness to the board for authorizing me to select the right individual I want to work. As of now, I ain’t pressurized. It’s me who has made the decision and I’m revoking it.”

Furthermore, Wahab Riaz highlights the examples of Mohammad Azharuddin and Ajay Jadeja:

“For instance, we have Mohammad Azharruddin and Ajay Jadeja in India. These two former players are working in cricket till now and there isn’t any confusion. While Mohammad Azharrudin is the president of one of the cricket associations, Ajay Jadeja was the batting consultant for the Afghanistan cricket team in the World Cup.”

By pointing out the life of the former Indian cricketers, Wahab wanted to convey an important fact. Despite their involvement in spot-fixings and serving bans, these former Indian cricketers managed to secure a reputable position in BCCI.

PCB removes Salman Butt from the Selection Panel: Overall Facts

From 2010 till now, it was the first time Salman Butt achieved a reputable position. Especially, after a ban of five years and being cornered from the national cricket team for thirteen years.

For a moment, it was proving to be a fresh life for Salman Butt to start a new phase of journey in cricket.

Salman Butt as a consultant member would have advised Wahab Riaz for selecting the best players. The upcoming 5-match T20I series against New Zealand requires the inclusion of an experienced former cricketer in the selection panel.

Wahab Riaz conveyed that Asad Shafiq would likely replace Salman Butt in a short time.

Overall, PCB removes Salman Butt as a consultant member in the national selection panel after receiving much criticism from fans globally. From the example of Salman Butt, it becomes evident that a cricketer doesn’t get another chance easily to begin a new life after involving in spot-fixing allegations.

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