Banned Butt makes debut as TV pundit


KARACHI – Banned batsman Salman Butt said he was delighted to “renew his ties with cricket” after he made his debut as a television pundit for Pakistan’s opening World Cup match against Kenya on Wednesday. Last week the sport’s governing body (ICC) said it was unhappy Butt has been hired by a local channel and was checking whether he had breached the terms of his punishment after being found guilty of corruption.
However, Butt was glad to be involved in the sport again — albeit as an armchair observer. “It’s great to renew my ties with cricket which remains my biggest passion and bread and butter even today,” Butt told Reuters while taking a break from commentating on the Group A match. Butt was banned for at least five years by an ICC anti-corruption tribunal earlier this month after being found guilty of spot-fixing elements of a test against England last year, during which he was captain of the team.
The former opener is also facing criminal charges of accepting bribes and fraud by the London Metropolitan Police and will appear in a London court on March 17. “I don’t see anything wrong in working as an expert for the Pakistan matches. I am not allowed to play any cricket or take part in cricket activity organised by the ICC or the Pakistan Cricket Board so I am not breaching the terms of my ban,” Butt added.