Butt starts new innings as cricket expert on TV Channel
Karachi: Banned Pakistani player Salman Butt on Wednesday made his debut as a cricket pundit during the World Cup match against Kenya despite the International Cricket Council (ICC) having reservations over his new job.
Butt though asserted that he was doing nothing to violate the terms of his ban by the ICC anti-corruption tribunal announced on February 5 on spot-fixing charges.
“I am not violating the terms of my ban. I am not playing cricket neither am I working for anybody affiliated to the ICC or the Pakistan Cricket Board,” Butt said after giving his expert comments before the start of Pakistan’s first match in the World Cup.
Butt said he enjoyed his opening stint as cricket expert and was looking forward to more such assignments.
The ICC had said after its executive board meeting in Dubai last week that it was not happy with Butt signing on with a Pakistani channel to work as an expert and would ask the anti-corruption tribunal to see if this violated the terms of his ban.
Butt was banned for 10-years with five-year suspension period and his teammates Mohammed Asif and Mohammad Amir for seven and five years respectively during Pakistan’s tour to England last year.
The ban does not allow the trio to take part in any cricket activity or event that is organized by the ICC or any of its affiliated units.
Butt said his lawyer Yasin Patel had given him the go ahead to work as an expert for the Channel Five during the World Cup after getting clarification from the anti-corruption tribunal head, Michael Beloff.
“I am doing nothing wrong, just working as an expert. Cricket remains my bread and butter and I have to do something to earn my living,” Butt said.
Butt and the two other banned players have already been sacked by their employers -- National Bank -- after the anti-corruption tribunal delivered its verdict in Doha.
PCB sources said while they were also aware of the reservations expressed by the ICC over Butt’s new role but they could do nothing since he was not violating any terms of his ban.
“The channel is a private one and has nothing to do with the ICC or PCB. Neither does it have holding rights to the World Cup. So, technically we cannot stop them from hiring anyone,” one source added.