Complete Elimination of Corruption From The Game Not Possible: Salman Butt
Former Pakistan skipper and convicted spot-fixer Salman Butt believes the game will never get rid of the corruption. The 32-year-old, along with teammates Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir, was convicted of spot-fixing in 2011 and banned for five years by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
Speaking to the Press Trust of India, Butt opined:“I have been there and I have seen it. Complete elimination is not possible because it requires just one moment of weakness and one wrong decision to destroy yourself with corruption.”
At the same time, he praised the different measures taken by the apex body to make the game as clean as possible.
“But it is a fact that after the spot-fixing scandal involving us in 2010 a lot of deterrents have been put into place to educate the players about anti-corruption measures. I myself have given lectures to teams on this issue from first hand experience. It has made a difference,” he said.
Butt, who resumed playing cricket in September this year, has been performing well in the domestic circuit and is harbouring hopes of donning the national jersey once again. The left-handed batsman scored centuries in each innings of the day and night Quaid-e-Azam Trophy final this week to help his side win the tournament for the first time.
Expressing his delight over the return, he said:“I am just thankful to God for giving me another chance to taste cricket success. I just know that there is true remorse in my heart for what happened six years ago and I just pray I get another chance to play for Pakistan and do something big for the country to atone for what I did.”
Expressing his disappointment for tarnishing Pakistan’s image, he said:“Honestly speaking I have been through a lot and I realise how badly I damaged the image of Pakistan cricket and myself. But I can only apologise and ask for forgiveness from all those people who were hurt by my actions.”
“But it is over now and I have served my time. I am 32 and my only aim is to get back to international cricket. My job is to perform and the selectors and board have to decide about my future. But I am banking on getting back soon,” he added.
The tainted player said except the United Kingdom, he has not faced any problem in getting the visa from other countries.
“I have been to the UAE, Switzerland, Afghanistan, China after my ban expired. And I have consulted immigration laws lawyers and they say I can be allowed to enter the UK if the Pakistan Cricket Board adopts the same channels they did for Aamir. As it is nothing is hidden from anyone including the UK authorities,” Butt revealed.
Butt also expressed his disappointment over the deteriorating bilateral ties between India and Pakistan. The two countries have not played a full bilateral Test series after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks which led to the suspension of cricketing ties between the two countries.They played a short series of three ODIs and two T20s in India in December 2012 but otherwise they have met only in the ICC organised events or the Asia Cup. And any chance of revival of the cricketing ties between the two countries looks bleak after the Uri attacks.
“It is sad because there is so we can learn from each other. But unfortunately one can do nothing about the politics. My personal experiences after playing in the first edition of the IPL and on India tours is very good. I don’t know perhaps India wants to isolate Pakistan in the cricket fraternity by not playing us but I don’t think that will ever happen as Pakistan will always be a top cricket nation,” Butt concluded.
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