Former Pakistan captain and tainted opener Salman Butt was ‘surprised’ on being ignored for the upcoming three-match Test series against the West Indies, he told Pakpassion.net.
A 16-man Pakistan squad was announced last week for the series set to kick off April 21.
Butt, who was banned along with fellow teammates Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir for five years after being found guilty in the famous spot-fixing scandal that hit Pakistan cricket in 2010, believed his domestic record after his return makes him worth selection in the national side.
“Yes I was surprised. I was expecting a place in the Pakistan Test squad after having performed very well in the last domestic season and winning a domestic Cup competition and scoring hundreds in each innings of that final which has never been achieved previously in Pakistan domestic cricket,” said the left-hander.
Butt has scored heaps of runs and has been one of the highest scoring batsmen in almost all domestic competitions since his comeback. The southpaw, however, was clueless why the selectors have ignored him and his blistering form.
“I have no clue why I haven’t been picked and this is something that I would like to know as well,” said Butt.
“I haven’t heard of any reason or been given an explanation about why my name was not in there in the squad,” added the Lahore-born batsman.
The 32-year-old said it was ‘visible’ it’s going to be more difficult for him and Asif to make it to the Pakistan squad than it was for Amir, who got called up for the national side almost as soon as his spot-fixing ban ended.
“There is no question that my journey back to the Pakistan team will be much harder than it was for Mohammad Amir,” said Butt.
“I have proved that my fitness is of a good standard, whereas Amir was picked as soon as he was eligible to play for Pakistan,’ he added.
Butt, who has played 33 Tests and 78 ODIs for Pakistan, remained hopeful he will wear the national colours again despite chances to happen so lessening with time.
“The desire to play for Pakistan is very much still there and is what keeps me going in cricket. I will get there, I am sure of that. I have to get there and get back into the Pakistan team once again,” he said.
“These delays and setbacks are not stopping my ambition and are in fact motivating me even more to return to international cricket.”