Salman Butt to give expert opinion on World Cup in TV channel

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Karachi, Feb 9 (PTI) Pakistan cricket can hardly stayaway from controversies and there is another one brewing atthe moment, with banned Test captain Salman Butt havingentered into an agreement with a private television channel togive expert opinion on the World Cup.

Sources confirmed to PTI that Butt had entered into anagreement with the channel five television for giving commentson the World Cup.

"He is being paid an undisclosed amount for the entireWorld Cup, said to be around half a million rupees," a sourcesaid.

"Butt will be giving expert opinions on some matches ofthe World Cup particularly those involving Pakistan in thetournament," the source added.

Butt was last week banned for 10 years by ananti-corruption tribunal of the International Cricket Councilon charges of spot-fixing. His teammates Muhammad Asif wasbanned for seven years and Muhammad Aamir for five years bythe tribunal.

"Clearly if Butt does appear on a television channel asan expert during the World Cup, many people are going toquestion the ethics of having a banned cricketer comment onthe mega-event and Pakistan team," the source said.

He added that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) was notaware of this development yet and might be in a shock sincethey are also waiting for the detailed judgment of the ICCtribunal, which they should get ''unofficially'' this week.

"It remains to be seen how the International CricketCouncil will react to having a banned player work as a cricketexpert during the World Cup as the ban does cover a lot ofareas."

The source noted that since Butt would technically beemployed by the channel that might cause the ICC to react asunder the ban, the trio cannot take part in any sanctioned andofficial cricket activity or event.

A similar controversy had erupted in India when thebanned former captain Mohammad Azharuddin appeared on atelevision show, leading to strong reactions from the ICC,cricket followers and experts.

But the source pointed out that Ajay Jadeja, anotherformer Indian player, who faced sanctions for his role in thematch-fixing scandal was now a regular expert on many Indiantelevision channels. Though another source said that Jadejahad already completed his ban period.

A PCB official said that once the detailed judgment came,the board would know where the players stood "but there is afear that the trio might also lose their jobs with theirdepartments as they can''t even play domestic cricket duringthe ban period." PTI Cor CM

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