Wahab Riaz cites examples of Azharuddin, Jadeja after Salman Butt’s exclusion from advisory panel

New Delhi, IndiaEdited By: Gautam SodhiUpdated: Dec 03, 2023, 08:23 PM IST
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Riaz cites Azharuddin, Jadeja's examples following Butt’s exclusion from panel Photograph:(AFP)

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With an uproar taking centrestage over Butt’s appointment, the PCB, withdrew Butt’s name from the list on the next day.

Pakistan men’s team new chief selector Wahab Riaz cited examples of former India cricketers Mohammad Azharuddin and Ajay Jadeja while announcing Salman Butt’s exclusion from the advisory panel on Saturday. 

Azhar and Jadeja, two former star players found guilty in match-fixing episodes during the 2000s, hold respective positions in Indian cricket and outside of it. On the other hand, Butt, another tainted cricketer, was sacked right away.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), on Friday, announced a three-member consulting committee to assist the chief selector, with Butt and two former stars – Kamran Akmal and Rao Iftikhar named on the list. 

Shortly after Butt’s official announcement went public, unrest started to grow within the board, with several reports suggesting that even one employee threatened to resign if PCB decided against revoking their decision.

With an uproar taking centrestage over Butt’s appointment, the PCB withdrew Butt’s name from the list on the next day.

Riaz, who broke this news to the media, slammed a few media houses for running propaganda over the same, citing examples of how tainted stars across the border are respected while holding top positions in the cricket circuit. 

Riaz, Butt’s close friend, was said to have favoured the former opener into getting an official role within the board for the first time since his ban was lifted (in the 2010 spot-fixing scandal).

“There is no pressure on me. I had made a decision, and I am revoking it. In India, we have examples of Mohammad Azharuddin and Ajay Jadeja,” Riaz told reporters.

“They are working in cricket now, and there is no fuss. Azharuddin is president of one of the cricket associations, and Jadeja was Afghanistan’s batting consultant in the World Cup.”

“People were talking all sorts of stuff about me and Salman Butt. Therefore, I am reversing the decision, I have already spoken to Salman Butt, and I have told him that he cannot be part of my team. Some media houses and people are resorting to this propaganda,” Riaz added.

PM intervened in Butt’s selection episode

Considered one of the better openers from this part of the world, Butt brought a bad name to Pakistan for leading a spot-fixing scandal during the 2010 Lord’s Test involving Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir.

As things got intense within the board, Pakistan Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar had to intervene in the matter, releasing a statement that read, “The caretaker PM took strict notice of the controversial player Salman Butt’s appointment to the selection committee. This controversial appointment was immediately cancelled on the instructions of the Prime Minister. There is no shortage of talent in Pakistan, the selection committee of players for a popular and favourite sport like cricket should also be uncontroversial. The PM directed to include undisputed and good reputation selectors in the selection committee of Pakistan Cricket Board.”