Tainted Pakistan cricketers Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif have been given a reprieve by PCB which has included their names in the players draft for the 2nd Pakistan Super League. Both the former Pakistan players were ignored for the first PSL draft as they had just completed their five-year bans for spot-fixing. Former Test captain Butt has been included in the Gold category of the players draft while Asif has been named in the lower Silver category for the players draft that will take place in Dubai around the 18th and 19th of this month.
“It is a big step forward after the ban to be called up for the PSL. But I am nervous whether any franchise will pick me,” Salman Butt told PTI on Friday.
The left-handed opener said he was comfortable playing in the T20 format and while being included in the PSL players draft was a big boost for him he still yearned playing for Pakistan again.
“I feel remorse and guilt for the past but my faith is stronger now and I can just hope and pray for better things to happen now,” Butt said.
Although his ban ended in September, 2015, the national selectors still have doubts over whether to recall Butt. Insiders in the board have told PTI that the main reason for this indecision is because Butt was the ring leader in the spot-fixing scandal and they were worried what would be the reaction if he was recalled and secondly it was likely the board will face problems securing visas for him for tours.
But the former captain said he had already been too China, Norway and other countries and he was ready to face any situation. Butt is presently playing in the Quaid-e-Azam trophy first class competition for WAPDA but has failed to get going in two innings.
The success of the first PSL in Dubai has also seen an increase in the number of foreign players now available in the players draft with former New Zealand skipper, Brendon McCullum, England’s ODI captain Eoin Morgan, Alex Hales, Sunil Narine, Kieran Pollard, Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid, Moeen Ali, Steve Finn, Wayne Parnell, Albie Morkel, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Carlos Braithwaithe, Jason Holder, Jason Roy, Stuart Broad, etc added to the overseas players list in different categories.
The highest number of overseas players belong to Sri Lanka, West Indies and England for the PSL. The 2nd PSL is due to be held in February, 2016 also in the UAE but with the PCB confident it can stage the final in Lahore.