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Did PCB drop tainted Salman Butt from selection committee role after intervention from Pakistan Prime Minister? | Cricket News

Salman Butt was dropped from his role as a consultant to Pakistan’s chief selector, Wahab Riaz, barely a day after he was first appointed along with former Pakistan cricketers Kamran Akmal and Rao Iftikhar Anjum. And it appears that it took an intervention from the nation’s caretaker Prime Minister, Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar, to change minds at the Pakistan Cricket Board about the tainted cricketer. Kakar is also the Patron-in-Chief of the PCB.

Former Pakistan captain Butt was named as a consultant to Riaz on Friday, but the decision had evoked sharp responses from former Pakistan cricketers like Ramiz Raja and Pakistanis media because in 2011, Butt had admitted to spot-fixing in a Test match at Lord’s. He was banned from the sport for five years and even spent time in jail in England.

As captain, Butt had convinced pacers Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif to bowl no-balls in return for a hefty payment in the Lord’s Test against England in 2010. After being convicted, Butt was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison but was released early.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Kakar’s office released a statement on the decision, which stated: “The caretaker PM took strict notice of the controversial player Salman Butt’s appointment in the selection committee. This controversial appointment was immediately canceled on the instructions of the Prime Minister. There is no shortage of talent in Pakistan, the selection committee of players for a popular and favorite sport like cricket should also be uncontroversial. The PM directed to include undisputed and good reputation selectors in the selection committee of Pakistan Cricket Board.”

Addressing a press conference at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium on Saturday, Riaz said he was “reversing his decision as many people had created a lot of issues”.

Festive offer

“I’ve already spoken to Salman Butt and told him that he cannot be a part of my team because I do not want people to link us in any way,” he said.

Butt represented Pakistan in 33 Tests, 78 ODIs and 24 T20Is. He was in the T20 World Cup winning squad in 2009. But his international career ended after the incident.

After the appointment was made public, there was a furore in Pakistan media over the decision.

The influential Dawn newspaper published a stinging article which stated that Butt had an “immoral stain on his record”.

“The appointment of convicted spot-fixer Butt as a national selector crosses a red line. The outrageous appointment of Butt confirms that neither Zaka Ashraf nor Riaz are fit for office. Both should be sacked or resign, and a new PCB chairman and selection committee appointed. The current leadership is in disrepute.”

The Dawn article had also noted how during the investigation of the spot fixing scandal in 2011, the now chief selector of Pakistan, Riaz had been questioned for lending his jacket to Butt’s agent, Majeed. The agent had used the jacket to hide £10,000 which had been given to him by an undercover reported from the now-defunct News of the World newspaper as part of a sting operation. It must be noted that Riaz was cleared of any wrongdoing.

“Butt is a good cricketing mind who understands cricket and has been covering domestic cricket for the past two to three years. He was made my consultant only as far as taking his opinion is concerned on which some people and media houses are probably doing propaganda, trying to ruin affairs and linking me with it,” Riaz countered.

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