Sunday, 5 December 2021

Salman Butt deserves a recall, says Waqar Younis

LAHORE: Former Pakistan fast bowler and coach Waqar Younis believes Salman Butt should be recalled to the national team based on his recent form, now that he has served his ban for spot-fixing. Waqar was Pakistan’s coach during the infamous Lord’s Test in 2010, when Salman was found guilty of orchestrating the delivery of no-balls from fast bowlers Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif. All three of them served bans, but only Amir returned to the national team since. Waqar said he was in favour of Salman returning based on his recent domestic form, which included two centuries in the final of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy that helped his team win their maiden title. “He was playing really well and also he has served his sentence and punishment and I feel personally that everyone deserves a go,” Waqar said.

“People are going to have different views. He is a good player, he is playing really well.” Speaking to a cricket website during the first-class final, Salman had reiterated his desire to play for Pakistan again. “I am knocking very hard on selectors’ doors,” Salman had said after the second day’s play. “I don’t want to break down but I want to keep myself fit and keep my form alive. With my wisdom, I am trying my best with the best of my intention. Being selected isn’t my choice, it’s they the selectors who have to decide. I have a wish and always want to be in every squad. I have the capacity but that is something the selectors have to tell and decide.” After the Asia Cup earlier this year, Waqar, Pakistan’s coach at the time, had intended to include Salman in the World T20 squad, an idea that was turned down by PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan. The PCB wanted Salman to play an entire first-class season to prove his fitness, form and utility. Salman was the second highest run-getter in the National T20 Cup this year, scoring 350 runs in eight innings. He followed that up with 749 runs at 49.40 in the first-class season. However, the PCB has been reluctant so far in the case of both Salman and Asif, and haven’t shown them the same leniency that was granted to Amir.

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