Friday Sep 11, 2020
Veteran cricketer Salman Butt has explained why he refused to play for and captain Central Punjab’s (CP) second XI in the upcoming season’s National T20 Cup.
Butt, a former national star whose reign as Pakistan captain had ended in disgrace, was cut from the side’s first XI but offered captaincy for the second-tier competition – something he turned down, and for which he was slammed on social media as he, not for the first time, came off as an entitled brat ungrateful at the second chance offered to him.
The Lahore-born, in an appearance on a TV show, remained steadfast in defence of his decision, but also explained that had he played for second XI it would be akin to blocking the pathway of young talent.
“I don’t know the logic behind not including me in first XI,” Butt is quoted as saying in local media. “Last year, I asked Misbah-ul-Haq and CP’s head coach Ijaz Junior to include me in Baluchistan’s squad as here two openers – Ahmed Shahzad and Babar Azam were already playing who were likely to open for Pakistan in the then upcoming series against Sri Lanka, but they didn’t.
“This year, even in the absence of Babar, Ahmed and Umar, they haven’t included me in the first XI and offered second XI’s captaincy citing illogical reasons that they want to promote U-19 players in First XI.”
“I feel better to wait for my turn instead of playing in place of a youngster. However, one thing is sure, some people are trying to play smartly regardless of knowing the fact that we know things very well.”
Butt was one of the three found guilty of spot-fixing in 2010. He was banned from playing cricket for 10 years (half suspended) and even served a jail sentence.