Cricket

Salman Butt replaces Hafeez in Lahore Qalandars squad

Lahore Qalandars have roped in Salman Butt to switch the injured Mohammad Hafeez for the rest of the PSL 2019 season.

That is essentially the most high-profile occasion Butt shall be a part of after his return in 2016 from his five-year suspension for his involvement within the the spot-fixing scandal of 2010. He’ll play underneath the management of AB de Villiers, who was handed the captaincy by Qalandars after Hafeez fractured his thumb.

Hafeez’s absence shall be a significant setback for the Qalandars, who had picked up the allrounder within the Platinum class and had named him captain in a bid to rectify their poor PSL report: the staff has completed backside of the desk in each season thus far.

Hafeez injured his thumb whereas making an attempt a return catch towards Karachi Kings on Saturday. He’ll endure surgical procedure later this week and is anticipated to be out of the sport for at the least one month.

With Hafeez out, the Qalandars have been in search of somebody to offer stability and expertise as an anchor at No.three, a task that Butt seems fitted to.

“It was unlucky to lose Hafeez. We imagine that solely an skilled Pakistani participant like Salman Butt can change him,” Aaqib Javed, the Qalandars director, cricket operations, stated.

Earlier than he was banned, Butt’s T20 strike charge was 107.98, thought of ample within the 2007-2010 interval. His total home T20 strike charge is 113.55, and he has scored 2278 runs at a mean of 36.15. Butt’s consistency can also be highlighted by his runs-per-innings determine of 30.four, second solely to Babar Azam amongst Pakistani batsmen who’ve at the least 2000 T20 runs.

Butt’s T20 numbers have appeared higher since his return from the ban. He averages 55.35 since 2016 – the very best for any Pakistan participant with a minimal of 500 runs. Azam is the subsequent finest, at 39.89, in that very same interval. Butt has made 941 runs in 24 T20 innings with 9 half-centuries since his return to senior aggressive cricket.

Butt, 34, marked his comeback in January 2016 with a century within the Nationwide One-Day Cup, and went on to complete the match as its second-highest run-getter, with 536 runs at a mean of 107.20. He then led his first-class staff, Water and Energy Growth Authority, to the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy title, scoring twin tons of within the ultimate to complete the season with 741 runs at 49.40. He was additionally the second-highest run-getter within the Nationwide T20 Cup in 2018, with 350 runs at 70.00.

He was 26 when he was banned, having performed 33 Assessments, 78 ODIs and 24 T20Is by then. Since then, he has attended anti-corruption rehabilitation programmes performed by the PCB, taken half in social work, and publicly apologised, although he had pleaded his innocence till 2013. The 2 different gamers punished on the time, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir, have additionally returned to cricket after finishing their bans. Amir has been efficiently re-integrated into the nationwide set-up, and performed all three codecs for Pakistan since, whereas additionally that includes for Karachi Kings for a fourth consecutive season within the PSL.

Over the past two years, Butt’s nationwide choice had been mooted occasionally, however the PCB has treaded cautiously on the matter. Butt’s constant home performances had impressed Pakistan’s earlier head coach Waqar Younis and former captain Misbah-ul-Haq, whereas the shortage of stability within the opening mixture ensured the subject of his return stayed related. The present teaching employees, led by Mickey Arthur, have additionally been impressed by Butt, however have left it to the selectors and the PCB to determine on his doable return.

Butt might have been again within the Pakistan squad as early as their tour of the West Indies within the first half of 2017, with Shaharyar Khan, the PCB chairman then, publicly clearing his choice. Nevertheless, with the revelations of spot-fixing within the PSL that season, the local weather for Butt’s potential return turned opposed, although he had no reference to any of the gamers within the scandal. That pressured the selectors to attend longer, and a yr later, they determined to look past Butt and check out youthful prospects.


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