Ramiz Raja slams PCB over 'insane' Salman Butt appointment

Butt is one of the three members roped in by the PCB for the task of assisting the chief selector, the other two being Kamran Akmal and Rao Iftikhar Anjum.

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Ramiz Raja
Ramiz Raja (Photo source: X)

Former PCB chairman Ramiz Raja has slammed the board over the “insane” appointment of Salman Butt as consultant to chief selector Wahab Riaz. Butt is one of the three members roped in by the PCB for the task of assisting the chief selector, the other two being Kamran Akmal and Rao Iftikhar Anjum. 

"The three have assumed their responsibilities in the selection panel with immediate effect. Their first assignment as consultant members to the chief selector includes the upcoming five-match T20I series against New Zealand, set to commence on 12 January 2024 following the conclusion of the Test tour to Australia," a PCB release notified the trio's appointment on December 1.

Ramiz, the 61-year-old who played 57 Tests and 198 ODIs for Pakistan, minced no words in calling out the PCB for appointing Butt who was involved in the 2010 spot-fixing scandal. The former PCB chairman was also critical of Akmal’s appointment.

"It's insane to have a selection committee consisting of a member whose decision can be termed as a display of filial affection or non-affection and another who was locked up for match-fixing," Ramiz told Cricbuzz.

This was not the first time Ramiz expressed such lucid displeasure over PCB employing a controversial figure in a crucial position. Back in 2020, Ramiz reckoned "these tainted cricketers should open their grocery shops" reacting to the selection of Mohammad Amir -- one of the accomplices in the 2010 fixing episode -- in the national team.

"You ask me, I would say these tainted cricketers should open their grocery shops. I have no doubt that giving concessions to big names also damages Pakistan cricket," Ramiz had said.

Butt, Amir and Mohammad Asif were involved in the infamous fixing row which derailed their international careers. Butt, who had played 33 Tests, 78 ODIs and 24 T20Is, was handed a 10-year ban by the ICC in the aftermath and also served a jail term in the United Kingdom. He never played for Pakistan again. Meanwhile, Akmal, who represented Pakistan in 53 Tests, 157 ODIs and 58 T20Is, was also interrogated during the 2010 fixing row, however, he was not charged.

The PCB has confirmed that neither of the three consultants will be involved in the selection process and will only "assist the chief selector by providing recommendations, collecting feedback and identifying top-performing talent in domestic cricket." 

"Their role is to present this information to the chief selector and the selection committee for consideration in their decision-making process. The Consultant Members do not have any independent decision-making powers," a PCB statement confirmed. 

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