Salman Butt urges PCB to allow him to play first-class cricket again

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Karachi, Aug 29: Tainted former captain Salman Butt has asked the Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) anti-corruption officials and legal advisors to reconsider the reintegration and rehabilitation plan for the disgraced trio.

Butt met the PCB's anti-corruption officials and legal advisors yesterday and requested them to allow him to resume playing first class cricket from September 2.

File photo: Salman Butt speaks to reporters in Lahore on Thursday (August 20)

"Salman Butt has requested a review of the action plan and is keen to get clearance to at least play first-class cricket," said a board official.

The Pakistan Cricket Board on Wednesday had announced a comprehensive action plan for Butt, Muhammad Asif and Muhammad Aamir to reintegrate them back into mainstream cricket.

But the plan rules them out of playing first class cricket until February 2016 as they attend anti-corruption programs, deliver anti-corruption lectures in different regions, have counselling sessions, train and meet fitness standards at the national cricket academy and mend fences with the members of the national team.

The trio's five-year bans for spot fixing expire on September 1 midnight and the ICC said they can return to national and international cricket after that date. But Pakistan's former Test captain Ramiz Raja has advised the PCB to rule out any chances of the trio returning to the national team.

"The PCB can give them permission to play some domestic cricket and perhaps even assist them financially but they must not be allowed to represent Pakistan again," Raja said in Lahore.

The former skipper made it clear that the trio by indulging in spot fixing in England on the 2010 tour had brought a bad name to Pakistan cricket and tarnished its image and their crime was unforgivable.

"It would be unfair to have eight players in a team who are clean and want to win and three players about whom they will always be doubts that they don't want to win," he said.

Raja said even the reintegration/rehabilitation plan would not make the trio corruption free cricketers.

"They did something which badly hurt Pakistan cricket and its integrity and image and it has taken many years to once again restore our image internationally. I don't think they deserve a second chance to play for Pakistan," he said.

Raja also felt that the current Pakistan team had become an unified outfit, which could survive and continue to do well without the three tainted players.

"Even if these three don't play I don't think it will make any difference to our team, which is now doing well," insisted Raja.

PTI

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