Salman Butt removed as consultant to chief selector

By our correspondent
LAHORE:In a surprising turn of events, former cricketer Salman Butt has been ousted from the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) selection committee advisory panel, a mere day after his appointment. The decision, announced by chief selector Wahab Riaz, comes in the wake of considerable public backlash and criticism surrounding Butt’s inclusion due to his controversial past.

Salman Butt, who had faced a ban in connection to a high-profile spot-fixing scandal, was appointed to the PCB selection committee alongside Kamran Akmal and Rao Iftikhar Anjum. The move immediately ignited a storm of disapproval, prompting cricket enthusiasts and the media to question the rationale behind such a decision.
In a press conference held at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium, Wahab Riaz shed light on the decision-making process and the subsequent reversal. Riaz acknowledged the intense public debate surrounding Butt’s appointment, emphasizing that he did not want any perceived association with the former captain. He stated, “I do not want that people link us in any way.”

Riaz explained that the decision to remove Butt from the selection committee was crucial to dispel accusations of nepotism and friendship-based favors. Despite defending Butt’s cricketing knowledge and understanding of the game, Riaz highlighted the necessity of preventing negative perceptions that could harm the integrity of the PCB.

Expressing gratitude to PCB chief Zaka Ashraf for permitting his decision, Riaz asserted his authority as the chief selector, stating, “As the chief selector, I decide who will be the people working with me and who I will need the support of.”

Riaz urged a focus on moving forward, emphasizing that Butt had already paid for his past mistakes. He clarified that the decision was solely based on cricketing considerations and not influenced by external pressures. Despite the reversal, Riaz expressed concern about potential negative impacts on the PCB and underscored the importance of understanding the need to progress beyond past controversies.

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