A day following the announcement of Salman Butt’s appointment as one of the consultants for the Pakistan men’s cricket team, Chief Selector Wahab Riaz made a surprising reversal, deciding to terminate Butt from the panel. In a press conference, the former left-arm speedster explained that he had communicated this change to Butt.

Salman Butt’s controversial past: Spot-fixing scandal and redemption attempt

Butt, the former opening batter, was entering his first official role since his involvement in the 2010 spot-fixing scandal, which led to a 30-month jail term in 2011 and a subsequent five-month International Cricket Council (ICC) ban. Alongside Butt, Kamran Akmal and Iftikhar Anjum were the other two members chosen by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

Wahab Riaz’s decision reversal: Unveiling the press conference revelation

Speaking at the press conference, Wahab expressed his initial desire to have Butt as a consultant, citing his reputation as a “good cricketing mind.” He emphasized that the decision was entirely his own and not influenced by external pressures.

“Salman Butt isn’t on any PCB panel. For me, he is a good cricketing mind who understands cricket and has been covering domestic cricket for the past 2-3 years. He was made my consultant just to get his opinion, based on which some media houses and people started doing propaganda,” Wahab was quoted as saying by India Today.

“As a chief selector, it’s my decision as to who will work with me and whose support I need. But people started discussing nepotism and dosti, due to which I am reverting this decision. I have already spoken to Salman Butt and told him that he cannot be a part of my team,” the 38-year-old added.

Also READ: Australia announces a strong squad for Perth Test; speedster Lance Morris recalled to face Pakistan

PCB’s role and autonomy acknowledgment: Managing backlash

Wahab clarified that the reversal stemmed from the backlash faced by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) over Butt’s appointment. He took the opportunity to extend gratitude to the board for providing him complete autonomy in decision-making. This incident sheds light on the complexities and challenges associated with decisions in Pakistan cricket, balancing individual redemption with public perception.

“Since we’re working under the chairmanship of Zaka Ashraf in a transparent manner, I am thankful to the board for allowing me to choose the people I want to work with,” the Lahore-born cricketer concluded.

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