“I have told him that he cannot be part of my team”


Nearly 24 hours after hiring him as one of the consultants, Pakistan men’s cricket team’s chief selector Wahab Riaz has fired Salman Butt from the panel. The former left-arm speedster stated at a press conference that he has reversed his earlier decision and communicated it to Butt.

Butt, the former opening batter, landed his first official role since his involvement in the spot-fixing scandal of 2010. The 39-year-old went to jail for 30 months in 2011 and copped a five-month ban from the ICC. The other two members chosen by the PCB are Kamran Akmal and Iftikhar Anjum.

Speaking at a press conference on Saturday, Riaz announced the decision and thanked the board for giving him complete autonomy.

“People were talking all sorts of stuff about me and Salman Butt. Therefore, I am reversing the decision and I have already spoken to Salman Butt and I have told him that he cannot be part of my team. Some media houses and people are resorting to propaganda.

“Since we’re working under the chairmanship of Zaka Ashraf in a transparent manner, I am thankful to the board for allowing me to choose the people I want to work with.”

Earlier on Saturday, former Pakistan seamer Sarfraz Nawaz also raised questions about the appointment of a ‘tainted’ cricketer. Nawaz felt the decision could have grave consequences.

Apart from going back on his decision to appoint Salman Butt, Riaz also confirmed the appointment of former Pakistan batsman Asad Shafiq to the selection panel.

Wahab Riaz mentions Mohammad Azharuddin and Ajay Jadeja in defense of his decision

Wahab Riaz. (Image Credits: Twitter)
Wahab Riaz. (Image Credits: Twitter)

In the same press conference, the 38-year-old Riaz cited examples of the likes of Mohammad Azharuddin and Ajay Jadeja working in official roles despite similar controversies.

“There is no pressure on me. I had made a decision and I am revoking it. In India, we have examples of Mohammad Azharuddin and Ajay Jadeja. They are working in cricket now and there is no fuss. Azharuddin is president of one of the cricket associations and Jadeja was Afghanistan’s batting consultant in the World Cup.”

The new consultants are likely to start their roles with Pakistan’s T20I tour of New Zealand in January.

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Edited by Akshay Saraswat

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