Wahab Riaz reacts as PCB fires Butt as selection consultant day after appointment

wahab riaz

Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) announcement on Friday of Salman Butt as the consultant to newly-appointed chief selector Wahab Riaz met with immense backlash. Riaz was hence forced to call a press conference on the following evening where he revealed that Butt has been removed from his role with immediate effect. Responding strongly to the criticism PCB faced for their call, the former Pakistan fast bowler namedropped Mohammad Azharuddin and Ajay Jadeja explaining that world cricket has been forgiving.

“People were talking all sorts of stuff about me and Salman Butt. Therefore, I am reverting the decision and I have already spoken to Salman Butt and I have told him that he cannot be part of my team,” Riaz told reporters at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.

“Some media houses and people are resorting to propaganda. Since we’re working under the chairmanship of Zaka Ashraf in a transparent manner, I am thankful to the board for allowing me to choose the people I want to work with.”On Friday, Butt was named as part of a trio of consultants alongside Kamran Akmal and Rao Iftikhar Anjum, who were slated to assume their role with “immediate effect” starting with the T20I series against New Zealand in January. It was clarified later that none of them would be directly involved in the selection matter. Amid a few other reasons behind the criticism on PCB’s call, the uproar was more over Butt’s appointment, who was handed a role in the board for the first time since he was handed a 10-year ban by the ICC for his involvment in the spot-fixing saga in 2010.

Upon serving his punishment, Butt had later appeared in Pakistan Super League and in domestic matches as well before working as a cricket analyst for various media houses across the country. However, his selection in PCB was met with sheer criticism.

Fuming at some of the remarks made against the former Pakistan captain, Wahab cited the examples of Azharuddin and Jadeja, who were slapped with a five-match ban by the BCCI back in 2000 for their alleged connection in match-fixing scandal that had rocked Indian cricket. The former India captain had served as the president of Hyderabad Cricket Association while Jadeja was named as a batting consultant for Afghanistan’s World Cup campaign that ended last month.

“In India, we have examples of Mohammad Azharuddin and Ajay Jadeja. 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,” Wahab said.

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