Mike Hussey, who is popularly known as Mr. Cricket, believes that former Pakistan skipper Salman Butt, who served a five-year ban for his involvement in 2010 spot-fixing scandal, should not be allowed to make a return to international cricket.
Butt, along with fast bowler Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir, were found guilty of various offences of corrupt behaviour relating to the Lord’s Test between England and Pakistan in August 2010 by the independent Anti-Corruption Tribunal in February 2011.
“If I am being honest, it doesn’t sit well with me,” the Express Tribune quoted Hussey as saying. “Some would argue he has done his time and been allowed back in, much like Amir. But you’ve got to remember Amir was a 17-year-old kid being directed by Butt to do the wrong thing.”
The former Australian left-hander said he was able to sympathise with Amir, but not with Butt.
“I have a bit more sympathy for Amir…But Salman Butt, it doesn’t sit well to have him back in international cricket,” Hussey said.
Expressing similar sentiments, Hussey’s teammate Ryan Harris said that he was not a big fan of Butt’s sreturn.
I’m not a big fan of it to be honest,” said Harris. “I know Mohammad Amir is playing here and I’m 50-50 on that. I obviously don’t think he should be here but he was 17 years old he was quite young. Whether that was an excuse, I’m still trying to work that out myself.”
“But Butt, the captain, who told his players to go out and cheat, there’s no room for that in the game. I’m not sure how the opposition players would take playing against him for one, but definitely not. I know he’s done the crime, done the time, but I still think that was a pretty lenient time, five years,” he added.
The Pakistani left-handed batsman, however, believes he has knocked the door very hard for his return to international cricket by scoring twin centuries in Quaid-e-Azam trophy final.
The 32-year-old, who was playing in his first major first-class tournament since his spot-fixing ban ended in September last year, struck 125 and 105 not out in the two innings of the match to help Water and Development Authority (WAPDA) settle with a draw against Habib Bank on the fifth day of the final of Quaid-e-Azam trophy.
Last month, Pakistan’s chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq had indicated that Butt and Asif would only be considered for selection after they play in first-class matches.
Butt is likely to be selected for Pakistan’s tour of the West Indies, featuring three-match ODI series and two Twenty20Is in March-April next year.