Bans on Pakistan’s batsman Salman Butt and swing bowler Mohammad Asif will expire on September 1 2015 as confirmed by International Cricket Council (ICC) on Wednesday.
The pair along with fast bowler Mohammad Amir were banned in 2011 over a case of spot fixing which when revealed by the now defunct British tabloid News of the World took the complete cricketing world by surprise. The three players, along with their agent Mazhar Majeed, arranged no-balls during the Lord’s Test against England in 2010 in return for money in a deal with an undercover reporter. According to ICC, both Butt and Asif had completed their rehabilitation.
“They will be eligible to return to competitive cricket, at both domestic and international levels, on 2 September 2015 after fulfilling the specific conditions laid down by the independent Anti-Corruption Tribunal,” ICC said in a statement.
Amir’s five year ban was lifted earlier this year in January 2015 after ICC amended its anti-corruption code, according to which he could play domestic cricket until his ban expired.
This ban has taken a big toll on these players. Salman Butt was not only a young and talented left handed opener, but was also the captain, a player which desperately Pakistan needed at that time. He has 4002 runs in tests and 3572 runs in ODI’s.
The duo of Amir and Asif were creating havoc with their bowling and were taking wickets all around the globe. Amir, who was in his teens when the incident happened, had a speed over 140 and could swing the ball just enough to trouble the batsman. With the ability to move the ball both ways, Asif destroyed batting lineups single handedly.
Amir has 25 wickets from 15 matches in ODIs and 51 wickets from 14 test matches. Asif has 106 wickets from 23 tests and 46 wickets from 38 ODIs. It will be difficult for these talented Pakistanis to make a comeback to international arena.
Image Credits: AFP