Tournament featuring previously sanctioned players will commence from Oct. 26.
A major Pakistani team on Saturday confirmed it had signed Salman Butt and paceman Mohammad Asif, who were last month relieved of sanctions over spot fixing.
Former champions Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) said Butt and Asif will feature in their team in the first-class tournament starting in various cities from Oct. 26.
WAPDA chairman Zafar Mahmood confirmed the signing. “I was told of Butt and Asif’s availability so I gave the sports department the go ahead and they have signed them,” said Mahmood.
Butt and Asif are undergoing a rehabilitation program under the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) since being relieved of the sanctions imposed on a five-year spot-fixing ban. The pair, along with another paceman Mohammad Amir, were banned and jailed over a 2010 spot-fixing scandal in England. The trio was accused of arranging deliberate no balls during the Lord’s Test against England in return for money in August 2010.
Amir is already playing domestic cricket after being relieved of his five-year ban in January following an amendment in the International Cricket Council’s code of conduct which allowed banned players to feature in home matches a few months prior to their ban ends. Butt and Asif were not given that relaxation.
Mahmood said he was in favor of giving disgraced players a second chance.
“I am clear-headed that they deserved a second chance. In my opinion anyone who has received punishment for his crime is better than those who never get punishment for their wrongdoings,” said Mahmood.
Butt said he was keen to play domestic games. “I have been training for quite some time now and am keen to make a comeback in first-class cricket,” Butt told AFP.
PCB last month said it wants Butt and Asif to play club cricket first and then first-class matches.