Image courtesy of: Pakistan Cricket Board
Former Pakistan captain and veteran batsman Salman Butt has withdrawn from the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, where he was supposed to represent Central Punjab, as he understands “that I don’t have a future with Pakistan”.
Salman was banned for five years in 2010 for his role in the spot-fixing scandal that shocked the cricketing world.
Since making his comeback, he has been trying to regain his spot in the Pakistan team, but has been unsuccessful despite being one of the top performers in domestic cricket over the past few years.
With his strong performances constantly being ignored, Salman said he questioned why he is even trying anymore and is now looking for non-playing opportunities in cricket.
Salman will become a commentator during the fourth round of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy on November 20.
It should also be noted that Salman hasn’t decided what to do about his playing career in limited overs cricket.
“I understand that I don’t have a future with Pakistan,” he told ESPNcricinfo. “I played cricket with distinction and have scored heavily since my return. There has been a purpose to re-earn a place [in the national side] and the context of my performance is to play for the national team.
“This year, I questioned myself: ‘What I am doing, why I am playing? What is the purpose if I play yet another season?’ I gave a serious thought and realistically I know they are not going to pick me. So I (would) rather explore something where I can contribute and excel to make a difference.
“It’s tough to leave cricket and this is something nobody really prepared for, but then I am not going to play cricket forever. I always thought I will leave the day when I am a burden on the dressing room. There is a time when you eventually have to call off and let someone else take your place.
“I met with Nadeem Khan [PCB director of high performance] and he gave me some very good career advice, so I am withdrawing myself from the [Central Punjab] squad and taking up a commentary role for Quaid-e-Azam Trophy.”
Nadeem confirmed that he had met with Salman to discuss the matter.
“Salman is a good cricket mind and he came to me to talk about his uncertain career,” Nadeem said. “We have an objective to create an opportunity for the cricketer post-retirement. We want to set a clear pathway so that players do no feel insecure after leaving cricket or after being left out.
“I want to make sure that there is a clear career line and we have a smooth transition for cricketers making their way into a non-playing role. The creation of these opportunities is in line with the PCB’s strategic decision to increase the involvement of former players in domestic cricket and to train and develop the local talent. There had been a dearth of referees, umpires, coaches, curators as there was a big generation gap and we want cricketers from the modern age in the system.”