Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif return to domestic cricket hours before Amir flies to New Zealand

Tainted Pakistani cricketers Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif made comeback to competitive cricket when they turned out for their department, Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) on Sunday after serving a five-year ban and jail terms for the 2010 spot-fixing scandal.

The match, a part of Pakistan’s national One-Day International (ODI) Championship, saw the duo make a successful return to cricket after completing their bans and a rehabilitation programme. 31-year old Butt scored a hundred while 33-year old Asif took two wickets in WAPDA’s win over Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) team in the game played at Hyderabad in Pakistan.

Quite ironically, fellow accused Mohammad Amir flew out with the Pakistan squad for a limited-overs series in New Zealand the same day. The left-arm pacer had been fast-tracked back into the national squad after he was allowed by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to resume playing domestic cricket six months before his ban expired last year.

Butt and Asif’s return to cricket completes the reintegration process for the trio. While Amir is back into the mix, Butt and Asif too can dream of representing their country again. Pakistan coach Waqar Younis categorically mentioned that if the two perform well, there is no reason why they won’t be considered for national selection.