Stories about Salman Butt

No, Mohammad Amir, your spot fixing wasn’t a ‘minor’ offence

Of the three cricketers convicted and punished in the infamous spot-fixing scandal, I felt sympathy only for Mohammad Amir, since the left-arm fasted bowler was the youngest of the trio, and quickly put himself (as probably advised by his lawyer) at the mercy of the courts. On the other hand, both senior bowler Mohammad Asif and skipper Salman Butt fought legal battles to the very end. In fact, Salman Butt shamelessly exploited the nation’s hearts on Pakistani news shows by claiming that there were conspiracies against him. Finally, after exhausting all good will and legal recourse, Butt came clean. This ...

Read Full Post

Mohammad Amir deserves half the salary and no chance at captaincy

Mohammad Amir, the young cricketer who was banned for a spot fixing scandal, still managed to garner a lot of sympathy from Pakistanis, be it cricketing legends or experts and because of this, he has been allowed to play cricket once again. However, if the cricket fraternity thought Amir would be welcomed back with open arms, they were wrong. Yes, Amir is still young, has immense talent, bearing in mind his recent performances in the realm of domestic cricket, where he claimed more than 30 wickets in six matches during the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, yet, people, in specific his team mates, will not be as forgiving. This ...

Read Full Post

If the spot-fixing trio can get a second chance, why can’t ‘The Magician’?

So what if Saeed Ajmal was ranked as the number one player in the ODI format by the International Cricket Council (ICC) or if he became the quickest Pakistani to take 100 Test wickets, this did not stop the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) from treating him as shabbily as possible for his banned action which robbed him off his brilliant form. Photo: AFP This sends out a strong message to the existing as well as the upcoming off-spinners; don’t get your actions banned. Great going, PCB! There is a saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will ...

Read Full Post

Is it justified for the Pakistan cricket team to not welcome the trio?

The ban of Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt has not ended yet. In the eyes of the ICC, the trio can play international cricket, after considering their offences serious enough to ban them for five years. Eventually, it comes down to Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to select them in domestic or international cricket, or both. But who takes the final decision? The chairman, the selection committee or the captains of all formats? Or the player who coached them in the 2010 England tour? Or the prime minister himself, who is also the patron-in-chief? Or the head of PCB executive committee? The decision has found ...

Read Full Post

PCB should ban Amir, Asif and Salman Butt for life

The ban imposed by the International Cricket Council (ICC) on the ‘tainted trio’ of Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt, for their involvement in spot fixing was officially lifted on September 2, 2015. Although the ban on the players is lifted, I vehemently oppose the selection of these cricketers for the Pakistani team ever again. Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) should do what is right and impose a life ban on these players. They have caused immense embarrassment to the national team and the country. As of now, there is no consensus amongst former cricketers regarding the inclusion of these players in the national team. ...

Read Full Post

Why weren’t Salman Butt and Muhammad Asif given the same privilege as Muhammad Amir?

As of September 2, 2015, Salman Butt and Muhammad Asif  (part of the infamous trio convicted of spot fixing) will be eligible to officially play cricket again. Despite the criticism from fans and opposition, they are optimistic that they will perhaps have the opportunity to play for their country again. Firstly, let’s acknowledge the depth of their crime, given that spot fixing is a very serious offense and undermines the integrity of the game. There’s no doubt that fans who spend their time and money to see professional athletes perform to the best of their ability deserve better than dishonesty. Yet it is ...

Read Full Post

Through the eyes of a fanatic: Pakistan, the World Cup enigma

Cricket is a game for the fanatic. You don’t like the sport, you love it. You sacrifice sleep, plead for divine intervention, wield undying beliefs and hold faith that despite needing eight runs of the last ball, a simple wide can make magic happen. Such is the power of a bat and ball. Such is the nature of the game that despite our efforts to turn predictions into facts and to drown ourselves in a frenzy of statistics, the sport remains as unpredictable as it was in 1992. It has been four years since India won the World Cup, 23 since Australia ...

Read Full Post

Not forgotten but forgiven: The prodigy returns

It was on a typically overcast London afternoon that the nation saw its first glimpse of young Muhammad Amir, who had just turned 17 a few months earlier. It took him all of two balls to win over the thousands of Pakistani supporters at The Oval and the millions at home watching their side take on England in the 2009 World Twenty20. Ravi Bopara’s uppish drive was well held by Shoaib Malik at backward point and Amir wheeled away in joy, baring all of his uneven teeth. That was the moment the nation fell in love with the precociously talented ...

Read Full Post

Yes Ramiz Raja, Amir does deserve a second chance

Ramiz Raja is Pakistan’s most famous voice at the commentary box during a cricket match. His in-depth analysis of matches clearly depicts his love for the game. As an international cricketer, he played between 1984 and 1997 – a career that spanned for 13 years. He played 57 Test matches and 198 ODIs, and also captained the team for a brief moment. Moreover, he was a part of the World Cup winning side in 1992. Since his retirement in 1997, he has played an integral part in making policies on countless occasions, in official and unofficial capacity. But above all, I believe that Ramiz’s biggest trait ...

Read Full Post

Misbahul Haq for 2015 World Cup Captain!

November 3, 2011 was arguably the darkest day in the history of Pakistan cricket. Former Test captain Salman Butt, along with the sensational pace duo of Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif had packed their bags to complete their respective times in prison after being caught cheating the gentleman’s game by means of spot fixing. Considering that team Pakistan was already deprived of the luxury of playing at home, it seemed highly likely that cricket had lost one of its most enigmatic sporting nation. However, the cricketing god’s had other plans for the men in green. Fast forward to November 3, 2014, ...

Read Full Post