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Pakistan chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq, on Friday, clean bowled a journalist after the latter asked the former Pakistan skipper a question regarding left-handed batsman Salman Butt’s return to the national team.
The former cricketer was interacting with the media during a visit to the Sports Journalists’ Association of Lahore when a reporter reminded Inzamam of Salman’s good performance in the domestic circuit this season. The reporter further added the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan has also given the green light to batsman for selection in the national team.
Inzamam was probably amused with the reporter’s detailed question and as quoted by The Express Tribune, he said: “You are right! You’ve answered your question yourself.”
Everyone present into the room burst into laughter after Inzamam’s witty reply before the chief selector delivered a clarification on Salman’s probable return. Citing the example of off-spinner Saeed Ajmal, who was rushed back into the national soon after re-modelling his bowling action, Inzamam said Butt needs to play a complete season of domestic cricket before fancying a chance to don the Pakistan jersey again.
“When you are out for five years, you need to make a comeback by playing a complete season of domestic cricket,” Inzamam said.
“I would like to present the example of [off-spinner Saeed] Ajmal. When he came back after re-modelling his action, we rushed him into the national team. I think that was very early. He should have played in the domestic circuit for six months at least,” he concluded.
Butt, along with Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir, was convicted of spot-fixing in 2011 and were banned for five years by the ICC. Amir was selected in Pakistan team last year while Butt and Asif are still trying their best to return to international cricket.