Islamabad: Former captain Salman Butt asked the Pakistan Cricket Board today to treat banned players equally in their bid to resume domestic and international careers.
Butt and teammates Mohammad Aamir and Mohammad Asif were jailed and banned for a minimum of five years in 2010 by the International Cricket Council for spot-fixing -- in this case bowling deliberate no-balls -- during a test match against England. Butt was captain for the match.
While Aamir pleaded guilty and didn't contest the punishment, Butt and Asif saw their appeals rejected by the Court of Arbitration for Sport last year. The minimum five-year bans for all three players are due to end in September 2015.
PCB chairman Najam Sethi has said he will fight at the ICC for Aamir to resume playing at least domestic first class cricket later this year after ICC anti-corruption laws are amended at June's board meeting. Sethi said top lawyers in UK have advised him that Butt and Asif do not have strong cases. (Banned Mohammad Aamir not eligible for ICC World Cup 2015)
"I wish what he (Sethi) is doing for Aamir, he should also do for other (banned) players too," Butt told reporters in Lahore. "Pakistan does need Aamir and I wish him all the best, but I think other players should also get similar treatment."
It's not yet clear how the banned players would return to international cricket once the anti-corruption laws are amended. However, Sethi said he had strongly pleaded Aamir's case at the board meeting in Dubai earlier this week, noting that Amir pleaded guilty and also underwent rehabilitation.
Butt said he also wanted to start his rehabilitation, including attending lectures from PCB anti-corruption officials, but claimed nothing had yet been arranged.
"I have met with PCB's anti-corruption official at least 10 times, but he always says that the board will let me know," said Butt, adding that "people do make mistakes, but once they serve their punishments they should be given a chance to revive their lives."