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Central Punjab coach hints at unofficial ban on Salman Butt

Ahmed revealed that the final decision of selecting the opener would not be taken by Misbahul Haq

Central Punjab coach hints at unofficial ban on Salman Butt PHOTO: AFP

Central Punjab’s Coach Ijaz Ahmed Junior, in a press conference at the National Stadium in Karachi on Monday, made a shocking revelation as he hinted at an unofficial ban opener Salman Butt by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

Ahmed revealed that the final decision of selecting Butt in the national side would not be taken by the current head coach-cum-chief selector Misbahul Haq but the PCB itself.

“This (Butt’s selection) is a decision for the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). They are looking at the performances. I have talked with Misbahul Haq on the matter, but this is basically the board’s decision. When we get instructions from the board to consider him, we will definitely go ahead with it,” Ahmed said.

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Central Punjab’s coach further hinted that there might be instructions from the PCB that are causing hindrances to the selection of particular players in the national side.

“All players who are performing are available. We are looking at all players including Salman Butt. The main thing is that there are some players that we have particular instructions about which could hold them back, I am not clear on this. If we get the green signal from the board to consider these players we will definitely go ahead with it,” he concluded.

Butt, alongside fast-bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir, were banned for five years for their role in the spot-fixing scandal in England in 2010. The bans were lifted on September 2, 2015 and trio allowed to return to all forms of cricket by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

The PCB had earlier indicated that all players were available for the national side based on their performances. However, the new revelation by Ijaz has put a question mark over Butt’s status and the existence of a blanket ban by the PCB that has not been made public.