From Spot-Fixing to expert’s opinion

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Michael Phelps

Cricket News
  • From Spot-Fixing to expert’s opinion

Well it seems like Salman Butt’s luck is on the rise, because just days after being convicted in the spot-fixing case he has landed a lucrative deal with a television channel to give his “expert” opinion throughout the upcoming 2011, World Cup.

Butt, the former Test captain and opening batsman for Pakistan along with fellow team members Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif, was found guilty in a hearing that was overseen by International Cricket Council’s (ICC) anti-corruption tribunal in Doha, Qatar.

According to the ruling of the tribunal, Butt has been banned for ten years, Amir for five and Asif for seven years from all cricket related activities. There is no confusion in the ruling and it is quite clear that the banned trio has to stay away from cricket related activities at any level.

The anti-corruption tribunal was sure that Butt had close ties with the bookmaker, Mazhar Majeed and on Butt’s orders Amir and Asif bowled the controversial no-balls in a Test against England at Lord’s.

However, Butt seems unfazed by the ten year ban because it appears that he has found another way to make money, and this time the spot light is all on him. According to reports in the media, Butt will now be considered as an expert on cricket and will give his in-depth views on the matches in the World Cup on Channel 5.

There is no doubt that the former Pakistan international player has hit the jackpot. Many players after retiring from international cricket join the elite panel of cricket experts and commentators these days, but the matter under consideration is the fact that they reach the level of an expert sportsman after playing for their country for almost half of their lives and knowing the game in and out.

Till this day not a single player who was found involved in corruption had the courage to sign a deal with a television channel as an expert, or perhaps the channels didn’t deem it appropriate to invest their money on a convicted felon. But as they say cricket is a game of luck and Butt has definitely struck his luck in the best possible way.

Now when the cricket players will be on the field, exhausting their energies for the sake of winning the World Cup for their county, Salman Butt will be sitting in an air conditioned room expressing his “career long” experience. The best part is that he would probably be making more than the players on the field wearing green.

The left-hander on the other hand feels that he got an opportunity and took it, when asked by media he said, “I got a good offer. Since I'm doing nothing I thought it would allow me to test a new area.” Now here is an individual who probably never misses on a good offer.

The only problem in Butt being signed as an expert is the moral and ethical aspect of this deal. For an innocent player the situation of Salman Butt is quite confusing because he has to work harder, bear the agony of injuries and yet make less money than a guy who disgraced the game for the sake of money and then the same guy is hired as an opinion maker.

No one would ever question the expert insight given by the likes of Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Steve Waugh, Shane Warne, Sachin Tendulkar and many others but listening to Salman Butt is taking the matter to a whole new level. One wonders if the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the ICC (International Cricket Council) will have anything to say on the new career of Mr. Butt.



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