Banned for spot-fixing, Salman, Asif, Aamir dream of comebacks

By AFP
Published: February 5, 2014
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Salman Butt (L), Mohammad Asif (C), and Mohammad Aamir (R) were sentenced on February 5, 2011. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Salman Butt (L), Mohammad Asif (C), and Mohammad Aamir (R) were sentenced on February 5, 2011. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

LAHORE: Pakistan’s talented but tainted cricketing trio of Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamir on Wednesday vowed to return to international cricket, three years to the day after they were banned for spot-fixing.

On February 5, 2011 an anti-corruption tribunal of the International Cricket Council (ICC) banned the three players for a minimum of five years for arranging no-balls to order during the Lord’s Test against England in August 2010.

Butt, 29, the captain of the Pakistan Test team at the time, finally admitted his guilt in June last year and said he wanted to move on from the disgrace.

“I try hard to forget but someone always makes me remember that tough day,” Butt told AFP.

Butt was banned for 10 years, with five suspended, Asif for seven with two suspended and Aamer for five years. All of them could return to the game in August 2015.

“I regularly play cricket as I cannot adopt any other profession and I am very, very keen to stage a comeback,” said Butt.

The ICC tribunal made rehabilitation, including anti-corruption courses, mandatory to avoid the suspended part of the players’ sentence.

West Indian Marlon Samuels is the only player ever to return to international cricket after serving a two-year ban on fixing.

Butt said he wanted the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to help him get permission to play first-class cricket.

“The PCB has taken up Aamir’s case and I have appealed to them to help me play first-class cricket, as I am very keen to resume my career,” said Butt, who played 33 Tests, 78 one-day internationals and 24 Twenty20s for Pakistan.

The ICC last year formed a committee to consider relaxing some of the sanctions of Aamir’s ban.

Asif has found a sideline on the silver screen and is about to star in a joint Indian-Pakistani film, but says he wants to return to the game.

“Although I am going to act in the film, my first love is cricket and I am counting the days until my ban is over,” Asif, 31, told AFP.

“Cricket will always be part of my life, it’s in my blood and I will bowl once again for Pakistan.”

Meanwhile 21-year-old Aamer – who was just 19 at the time of the scandal and received a great deal of sympathy – said he was looking forward to returning.

“I train a lot because I cannot think of anything else to do other than playing cricket,” he told AFP.

Before the ban, the young left-armed was seen as one of the brightest fast-bowling talents in international cricket.

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Reader Comments (25)

  • shah
    Feb 5, 2014 - 10:00PM

    If these cheats and liars comeback then you can look forward to lots of fraud in Pakistan cricket.Recommend

  • Gul Khan
    Feb 5, 2014 - 10:05PM

    Butt and Asif should never be allowed to play for Pakistan again because they have been fixing the Matches for past five years before they got caught.Butt & a wicket-keeper from Lahore still have close links with Indians bookies.infect butter-fingers keepers father in law is Indian Bookies main agent in Pakistan

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  • Ali S
    Feb 5, 2014 - 11:37PM

    Butt and Asif should not every be allowed to wear the Pakistani team’s uniform again – they’re a disgrace to it. I remember Butt and his father initially said that they’re willing to be hanged if it’s proven that Butt was guilty of match-fixing, he kept denying it for over a year. Truly shameless people. An exceptional case could be made for Amir (assuming he’s learned his lesson), but the other two don’t deserve a chance.Recommend

  • Feb 6, 2014 - 12:00AM

    Shame on all three for selling country,We ‘ll never support there come back in team any of them.Recommend

  • Voice
    Feb 6, 2014 - 12:06AM

    Ban forever….set a precedent for Professional Pakistani players and rest of the world, that we can sacrifice best, but no comprise for crime and throwing away national dignity… I am sorry, no chance for Aamir too…let him part of this precedent….

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  • Arshad
    Feb 6, 2014 - 1:03AM

    For Salman Butt and Asif to dream of wearing a Pakistan uniform is wishful thinking. They are the scum that has afflicted most of the Pakistan society. Pakistanis most of the time look for the easy way and cheat rather than work hard and do the best they can. Aamer on the other hand was young and new. I think he was coerced by these two scum bags. He should get a chance if there is much cricket left after the Bid Three (Greedy) are done with it. All the best to Aamer. Work hard and come back to world cricket the way way you came in the first place. I want to see you destroy Indian, British and Australian batting lineups.

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  • SM
    Feb 6, 2014 - 1:20AM

    Pakistan cricket has gone to the gutters today because the bulk of our cricketers today are scumbags.

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  • A2Z
    Feb 6, 2014 - 2:38AM

    Butt and Asif should not be allowed to return.

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  • Feb 6, 2014 - 7:30AM

    Amir was mentally immature if not physically.I can understand that he did what “this bhai” and “that bhai” asked him and told him to do.Now those “this and that bhai” must not be allowed to ruin any future prospects of Pakistani cricket.They, the playing team of 11, has moved far and ahead of them. Asif and Butt’s future can only be found in history books, as i see it.

    I agree that it will be very tough for Amir to think about anything else but cricket now.While the other 2 can find their career in stock exchange, if they desire.Or better move to a country which nurtures and facilitates such cricketers.We can’t bear with this disease anymore.

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  • Ahmad
    Feb 6, 2014 - 10:06AM

    I pray Aamir is back soon; Butt and Asif dont deserve a comeback.

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  • Effy
    Feb 6, 2014 - 12:58PM

    How can butt think of making a comeback ? we lost 2 best fast bowlers because of him ?

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  • Kashmiri nationalist
    Feb 6, 2014 - 2:05PM

    Yes, Salman Butt should be back in the team because he is the only Kashmiri to ever play for Pakistan.

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  • Syed
    Feb 6, 2014 - 6:11PM

    After punishment is over rules should be the same for all of them. First they have to prove themselves and then if come on merit should be selected. If there is a tie b/w any of them and someone else then that someone else should get the preference.

    Also, it is naive to think that Aamir was immature and only did it b/c of influence, there is very strong evidence that he was very enthausiastic over the whole thing and had his personal contacts with majeed and others. Even his so called confession have too many ifs and buts never he mentioned that he was taken over by greed.Recommend

  • firaaq
    Feb 7, 2014 - 1:15AM

    @Kashmiri nationalist:
    no he isn’t. Tahir Naqqash is a kashmiri as well

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  • BanBCCI
    Feb 7, 2014 - 5:09AM

    BCCI is ultimately responsible for all turmoil in the world of cricket. If not for BCCI, our boys would have been back in the game by now. Just imagine if Sachin or Dravid were suspended for match fixing ?? World cricket would cease to exist.Recommend

  • Mahwish
    Feb 7, 2014 - 10:22AM

    Oh, Puh….Lease don’t make a comeback we are fine without you guys :P

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  • Truther
    Feb 7, 2014 - 11:59AM

    The three when seeing all the corrupt who looted the country with all their four limbs roaming around free and continuing their loot in Sind maybe feel that they should also be given the chance to loot and cheat more like all the other sordid corrupts

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  • بول کہ لب آزاد ہیں تیرے
    Feb 8, 2014 - 10:21AM

    Had this occurred in China, Mr. Butt would have been rightly executed by now on bringing such shame to country while being national team captain.

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  • Queen
    Feb 8, 2014 - 10:44AM

    If these three would not have had been caught, then they would have had continued to carry out their activities. Nope sorry, they don’t deserve to represent Pakistan in an international game like cricket.

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  • kex196
    Feb 8, 2014 - 6:05PM

    Like as if we care……..

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  • ahmed
    Feb 9, 2014 - 3:50PM

    once the sentence is over everyone has and should be given equal chance. many commentators commenting here with high moral standards would have done many misdeeds in their own lives that they shouldn’t be pointing fingers on other people.

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  • xeeshan
    Feb 10, 2014 - 10:54AM

    they should come back beccoz they are already bearing their punishment

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  • Fahad
    Feb 12, 2014 - 11:37AM

    I think they should be allowed to prove themselves once their punishment is over. Naturally, Asif would not be able to make a comeback due to his age. Butt is a bit younger, but the only way to make a comeback at this age is to meet Misbah’s excellence and we all know that is very very difficult for him. As far as Aamer is concerned, yes he can make a comeback like Marlon Samuels as he was very young at that time and a lot of cricket still left in this guy.

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  • Dr. Asad Sadick, Germany
    Feb 13, 2014 - 10:36PM

    If we can elect rogues and rascals as Prime Ministers and Presidents of the country, these poor cricketers are small fish. At least they give us exciting cricketing moments.

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  • s m
    Feb 14, 2014 - 9:36PM

    This is also a tactic to ‘eliminate’ competing batmen and bowlers. The ouster of this trio helped whom (at least one batsman and two bowlers vying to get selected in team)? this trio can’t even open up their mouth about others who were equally drenched in mud but yet got away! Also only those get caught who don’t obey their ‘masters’ behind the scene who run the show actually. Good example is ……. srisantha! …. About the comeback of this trio???? ….. two bowlers and one batman would have to vacate the place for them!!! ……….. That means grudging opponents are already there who won’t let their seat being given to this trio!!! ….. So past sin (so called) would haunt this trio. and hence difficult but not impossible comeback unless they fail to show extraordinary competence and cricket still left in them and not dried up by then.

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