LAHORE: Salman Butt, the banned former Pakistan captain, is hopeful Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Najam Sethi will "do for other players" what he is doing for Mohammad Aamir, who is also serving a ban for spot-fixing. Sethi had stated on several occasions previously that he is looking into getting the terms of Aamir's five-year ban reduced by the International Cricket Council (ICC), so that he can revive his international career at the earliest. The ICC is set to implement an amended anti-corruption code from June, which might facilitate a quicker return to cricket for players serving long-term bans.
“I wish what Mr Sethi is doing for Aamir, he does for other players too,” Salman said on Saturday. “Pakistan needs Aamir, and the other players.” In September last year, the PCB had sought advice from the Queen's Counsel in England, with regards to getting Aamir's ban reduced. While under the old corruption code there is no provision for the ICC to reduce a ban, it is understood that the PCB was then looking to ensure Aamir could at least use its training facilities ahead of schedule so he can be ready to make a comeback as soon his ban ends.
Salman said he had met the PCB several times to see what it could do for him in terms of rehabilitation, but was yet to receive any positive response. “I have been to the cricket board at least 10-15 times, and have met Colonel Azam of anti-corruption, and have asked him to start my rehabilitation lectures. It has to be organised by the PCB. I am available 24-7. I come to the ground every day, and as long as I am fit I am ready to play. Whatever things ICC judges have told me about rehabilitation, it's completed from my end. Whatever now PCB says I am ready.”
Salman said he just wanted to be treated the same way as Aamir. “It's good that the chairman is making efforts to revive the international career of Aamir, but he should also do it for others. When the ban is up, everyone should get an equal opportunity. I am not demanding anything extra.”
In February 2011, Aamir, 21, was one of the three banned by the ICC, along with Salman (29) and Mohammad Asif (31), after being found guilty of spot-fixing during Pakistan's Lord's Test against England in August 2010. Aamir was the only one to plead guilty to the charges in the trial that followed at London's Southwark Crown Court.
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