Former Pakistan captain and one part of the 2010 spot-fixing trio Salman Butt believes cricket can never be completely free of corruption but he praised the role of International Cricket Council (ICC) in reducing the chances of fixing matches.
“I have been there and I have seen it,” Butt told Press Trust of India. “Complete elimination is not possible because all it takes is one weak moment and one wrong decision to destroy yourself with corruption.”
He added: “But the fact is that after the 2010 spot-fixing scandal a lot of restrictions have been put into place to educate the players about anti-corruption measures. I myself have given lectures to teams on this issue from first-hand experience. It has made a difference.”
‘Thankful for second chance’
Butt, who recently received the man-of-the-match award after WAPDA’s first-ever finals victory in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, his biggest success after his return from the five-year ban for spot-fixing, was thankful for getting a second chance.
“I am just thankful to God for giving me another chance to taste cricket success,” he said. “I just know that there is true remorse in my heart for what happened six years ago and I just pray I get another chance to play for Pakistan and do something big for the country to compensate for what I did.”
He continued: “Honestly speaking I have been through a lot and I realise how badly I damaged the image of Pakistan cricket and myself. But I can only apologize and ask for forgiveness from all those people who were hurt by my actions.”
The 32-year-old was optimistic that he might soon return to the national side.
“I have served my time,” he said. “I am 32 and my only aim is to get back to international cricket. My job is to perform and the selectors and board have to decide about my future. But I am banking on getting back soon.”
On Pakistan-India cricket ties
The left-hand batsman also commented on the halted Pakistan-India cricket ties and said he had good experiences of playing in the neighbouring country.
“It [no cricket between Pakistan and India] is sad because there is so much we can learn from each other,” said Butt. “But unfortunately one can do nothing about politics. My personal experiences after playing in the first edition of the IPL and on India tours are very good. I don’t know perhaps India wants to isolate Pakistan in the cricket fraternity by not playing us but I don’t think that will ever happen as Pakistan will always be a top cricket nation.”