Millennium Post

Salman Butt offered many promises as a cricketer

Salman Butt, who on Wednesday lost his appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport against a spot-fixing ban, was once touted as a prospect to lead Pakistan for years to come.

The stylish opener was handed the captaincy after Shahid Afridi quit following a one-sided defeat against Australia at Lords in July 2010 and took little time in changing the fortunes of the embattled team.

Pakistan defeated Australia in the very next match by four wickets at Leeds -- their first win over Test cricket’s best team for 15 years -- and hopes of a new era were high.

But those hopes were short-lived as a month later several Pakistani players, including Salman, became embroiled in a spot-fixing scandal.

Britain’s News of the World claimed that seven Pakistani players, including Salman, Mohammad Aamer and Mohammad Asif, took money from Mazhar Majeed to obey orders at specific stages in the Lord’s Test against England.

Scotland Yard detectives raided the team hotel, reportedly confiscating a huge amount of money from Salman’s room.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) provisionally suspended the players, then banned them from cricket for - Salman for 10 years. Worse was to come as in November 2011, a British court jailed all three players and Majeed. For many in the game Salman’s alleged involvement came as a shock but not for those who knew of his love for expensive watches and luxury cars.

‘There was no doubt about his huge talent,’ said former captain Aamir Sohail, who gave Salman his first chance when chief of selectors in 2003.
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