Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has taken its decision of including tainted ex-captain Salman Butt in the selection consultancy team, a day later following the backlash. Former cricketers, ex=PCB chairman and fans alike were not in favour of Butt’s appointment and it seems that the board was listening to all the opinions and criticisms and has acted on it.
PCB had appointed Butt, Kamran Akmal and Rao Iftikhar Anjum as selection consultants to the new chief selector Riaz. But with Butt out of the picture, Riaz confirmed the addition of Asad Shafiq to the group. Riaz issued clarifications on probably every subject ranging from favouritism to this new group being the selection committee.
The former left-arm pacer confirmed that he needed a few minds to get his knowledge about young players and other such matters and hence asked PCB to bring a few of his men as consultants while confirming that they are just consultants and not part of the selection committee. On the favouritism part, Riaz named a few more players including Khurram Manzoor, Fawad Alam and Rummaz Raees but they refused and hence selected the team that was named on Friday, December 1.
On Butt, Riaz said that he has a great cricketing brain and admitted that he is his friend but he knew he could be a good addition but since the fingers were pointed at him on a personal level, he decided to withdraw the former opener’s name.
Speaking at the press conference on Saturday, December 2, Riaz said, “I firstly want to clarify that he is not on any PCB panel. Secondly, he is a good cricketing mind who understands cricket and has been covering domestic cricket for the past two to three years.
“As the chief selector, I decide who will be the people working with me and who I will need the support of. There is no one else’s pressure. It was my decision and I am reverting it I think it is very necessary for people to understand to move forward in life,” he further added.
The 38-year-old said that he believes in second chances and that people should move on if the accused has served his punishment (a 10-year ban in case of Butt for spot-fixing) but since it became personal, he had to take this call. Riaz even name-dropped the likes of Mohammad Azharuddin and Ajay Jadeja from India, who too served respective bans in spot-fixing cases, saying that one is a state association president and the other one was a consultant with a World Cup team to conclude that life moves on.
Watch the video here (from 12:39):
Pakistan’s next assignment under the new regime will be a three-Test series in Australia starting December 14.
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