Thursday July 25, 2024

Salman Butt dropped from PCB body following backlash

By Asher Butt & Muhammad Anis
December 03, 2023
Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt. — PCB
Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt. — PCB 

LAHORE/ISLAMABAD: In a surprising turn of events, former cricketer Salman Butt has been ousted from the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) selection committee advisory panel, only a 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 with 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, emphasising 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 favours. 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 PCB. Riaz urged a focus on moving forward, emphasising Butt had already paid for his past mistakes.

Meanwhile, the PMO said that the caretaker Premier Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar directed the removal of Salman Butt as member of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) selection committee. “The caretaker prime minister took strong notice of controversial appointment of Salman Butt as member of the PCB selection committee,” a statement issued by the PM Office said. The statement said the prime minister is PCB’s Chief Patron and directed immediate action. Kakar mentioned that the selection committee should comprise non-controversial members having good repute. “Only non-controversial selectors appointed on merit can select a best national team to represent Pakistan internationally,” he said.

Kakar maintained that there was no dearth of talent in the country, therefore, a controversial selection committee should not be there to select a team of popular game like cricket.