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  1. #1
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    "Pakistan squad's inexperience in early-summer English conditions will be big problem" : Salman Butt

    Frustrated at not winning back his Test place, Salman Butt tells Saj Sadiq (for Sky Sports) why inexperience could cost Pakistan dear in the upcoming Test series against England.


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    Pakistan's successful tour of England in 2016 will remain etched in the memories of fans and spectators for some very memorable moments which included the now iconic push-up celebrations at the end of the victory at Lord's and the victorious lap around The Oval after Pakistan managed to draw the Test series 2-2.

    However, with the retirements of both Misbah-ul-Haq and Younus Khan from international cricket, the Pakistan Test squad of today bears an inexperienced look with new captain Sarfraz Ahmed still learning the ropes and finding out that Test cricket has challenges of its own as his debut series defeat against Sri Lanka in UAE demonstrated last year.

    The upcoming two-match Test series against England is a perfect opportunity for Sarfraz to prove his credentials as a robust successor to Misbah's legacy, but the choice of an inexperienced squad for this tour has drawn a lot of criticism from all quarters.

    For the former Pakistan captain, Salman Butt, the choice of so many new faces for an important tour such as this represents a tough challenge.

    "The squad's inexperience in early-summer English conditions will be a big problem," said Butt. "Especially given that fact that we will be missing the services of Misbah-ul-Haq and Younus Khan.

    "Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq did quite well in the previous visit to England but their performances this time around will need to be a lot better and will be crucial for Pakistan's success."

    While the batting exploits of Misbah and Younus were key to Pakistan's success against England in 2016, the role of Yasir Shah was equally important as he provided the support that the visitor's bowling attack needed against some quality English batting.

    With Yasir now sidelined by injury, Pakistan will be without a potent weapon when the first of the two Tests begins at Lord's on Thursday - and Butt says that makes England favourites.

    "Realistically speaking, given the inexperienced Pakistan side chosen for this series, it would be a good outcome if the visitors can give a reasonable account of themselves and compete as best as they can."

    Nevertheless, Butt feels this is an excellent opportunity for some of Pakistan's best domestic performers like Saad Ali to experience international cricket and establish themselves in the Pakistan Test side.

    "I am pleased to see Saad Ali being picked for this tour as that is how top domestic performers should be rewarded. Only when someone like Saad Ali is given a chance to play international cricket can we judge his true potential and also, it's a fact that only by playing at the highest level can a talented player get the experience he needs to develop into a top-quality batsman in the future."

    The Pakistan Super League has been termed a great success by the Pakistan Cricket Board as it seems to be providing good quality young cricketers for the international side.

    However Butt feels that judging Test match suitability on success in a Limited Overs tournament is a flawed strategy.

    "There are so many surprises in this part of the world, that this sort of selection didn't really shock me that much," he reflected.

    "I feel that there is a trend nowadays to pick One-Day and T20 players for Tests and do a bit of experimentation. However, one must remember that Test cricket is a real test of a player's skills and must be taken seriously. You need experienced Test players in your side which doesn't seem to be the case in the Pakistan side chosen for this tour. All we can do is wish them the best of luck and hope that they all do well, as they will need it."

    Whilst there is a debate regarding the possible batting positions which will allow Pakistan to help marshal their rather inexperienced batting order which could consist of the likes of Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Sami Aslam, Usman Salahuddin and Saad Ali, there is little doubt in Butt's mind of the value of Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq's wickets if Pakistan are to come out with any positives from the tour.

    "There was some discussion about Azhar Ali's batting position as he was tried out as an opening option in the warm-up game against Kent, but the fact is that whichever position he or even Asad Shafiq bat at during the series, England will know that taking the wickets of these two batsmen will be key to exposing the inexperienced Pakistan batting order.

    "The value of their wickets cannot be underestimated, and Pakistan will look towards both batsmen to take the fight to England."

    While Mohammad Amir, one of the trio of players involved in the fixing scandal which afflicted world cricket in 2010, has now been accepted back into the fold by the establishment and fans, there have been questions asked about why Butt and Mohammad Asif are still being sidelined, despite some good domestic performances.


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    The answer to this question is one that Butt is still trying to make sense of.

    "What can one say? I have tried everything in my powers, but this has been the situation for a while now. Of course, I am disappointed at this turn of events and I really don't know the reason or the criteria behind my non-selection for the Pakistan side. Perhaps it's simply a case of the selectors having made up their mind to ignore me.

    "For a while now, whilst Mohammad Amir is being selected for international duties, Mohammad Asif and I have been ignored for selection and its come to a point where there isn't much more I can do. Perhaps this is more of a question now for the selectors to answer."

    It would be fair to say that Butt still dreams of making a return to international cricket and to be forgiven by his fans and critics. The tour of England in 2018 could have seen the former Pakistan captain donning a Pakistan cap once again as he walked onto the hallowed turf at Lord's this summer, but that was not to be and as Salman explained, he regrets the fact that one more chance for redemption had slipped away for him.

    "There is never any point in indulging in what-ifs, but I suppose it would have been great if I had been selected for the Test squad as that would have provided me with an opportunity to not only get back into international cricket but also perform well in England. It could have served as an opportunity for redemption in front of fans and critics in a place where things originally went so horribly wrong for me in 2010."

    Ever since the expiry of his five-year ban, there have been many false dawns and many hopes of returning to the Pakistan side offered to him, but the wait goes on, testing his faith to the fullest.


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    "I am trying my best to make sure I remain in contention for a place in the Pakistan side. To this end, I am training hard and putting in the effort and aiming to do well in domestic cricket in the coming season.

    "Even Pakistan's Chief Selector, Inzamam-ul-Haq had told me that he expected me to be selected for Pakistan, but I am not sure what is stopping him from doing that. Ultimately, one has to leave these things to the Almighty and hope and pray that I am able to achieve my goal of returning to play for Pakistan once again.

    http://www.skysports.com/cricket/new..._source=Direct
    Last edited by MenInG; 17th May 2018 at 11:42.


    [QUOTE=Mamoon;9742871]Don't see us ascending from 7th/6th in the near future. 5-0 in England and South Africa awaits us, we will be lucky to even draw one match. [/QUOTE]

  2. #2
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    Butt has struggled in FC cricket recently so I have no clue why he thinks he merits selection on performance. He also struggled on the 2010 tour.

  3. #3
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    All this talk of an inexpeirnce yet it was the inexperienced players who performed against Ireland. Our media need new lines instead of the same old stuff they always say.

  4. #4
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    I still feel sorry for him and yes he might have been selected for Pakistan but lost form just at the wrong time. He had an average domestic season last year so can't blame Inzi.

  5. #5
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    Has just too much hate against him. Salman Butt is an excellent batsman. IT IS A SHAME HE WAS NOT SELECTED!

  6. #6
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    A little ironic really.

    2010
    He was an inexperienced captain (taking over after the second test against the Aussies)..Early summer matches in England. An inexperienced team that not only lacked Misbah and YK but also excluded
    Moyo. Yet we drew that series 1-1.

  7. #7
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    Salman Butt has had enough chances since his comeback to win a recall to Pakistan Test side but he's not done much in domestic cricket.

  8. #8
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    Butt hasn't even been a top 15 FC batsmen in Pakistan since his comeback
    And he's on the wrong side of 30, and a poor fielder

    so he shouldn't be anywhere near selection - and this has nothing to do with the 2010 summer

  9. #9
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    Would rather the inexperience of the current squad than the "experience" of Salman Butt in English conditions.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by IMMY69 View Post
    A little ironic really.

    2010
    He was an inexperienced captain (taking over after the second test against the Aussies)..Early summer matches in England. An inexperienced team that not only lacked Misbah and YK but also excluded
    Moyo. Yet we drew that series 1-1.
    This is incorrect, that was July-September just like 2016.

    This tour is May-June

  11. #11
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    Thank you for letting us know.


    Gangster rap made me do it.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
    This is incorrect, that was July-September just like 2016.

    This tour is May-June
    I stand corrected!!
    Those tests were indeed in July..

    I will have to think of something else now...

  13. #13
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    Please thank you we are good with no experience.

  14. #14
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    Maybe 'experienced' or 'inexperienced' are the words Butt should avoid if it's a tour to England we're talking about.

    And over Butt I'd prefer Inzi.

    Wearing a VR headset. With his eyes fixed on a plate of steaming nihari, and a river of drool dripping from his bib onto his cable knit sweater as Mark Wood's bouncers come at him.

    On the other hand, Asif couldn't have been worse than Rahat, Faheem or even Hasan [ODI bowler so far].

  15. #15
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    Should he have been in the Test squad?



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saj View Post
    Should he have been in the Test squad?
    No. And that's nothing to do with morals or anything. He could have killed someone (exaggeration but you get the point) but I wouldn't be against him returning if he done well. The sole reason he shouldn't be in the test squad is cos he has done nothing noteworthy in domestics.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saj View Post
    Should he have been in the Test squad?
    He is almost 34 years old, and has an average of 30.46 in Tests after 33 matches. Not much upside having him in the team.

  18. #18
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    Butt is only going on assumptions regarding the weather.

    Last few days the weather has become very warm - something you associate with late British summer so he is wrong on that account.

    As for Pak batsmen some of them will struggle no doubt. But the forecast means it will be decent batting conditions - at least for Lords Test so there is hope they can cope.

  19. #19
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    Butt was unfortunate, probably last year he deserved a place in the side and to be honest he was very close to getting a place in the side.

    Now I think Pakistan have moved on, Imam is a good young prospect so is Fakhar and that is not even considering Azhar as an opener. Cannot drop Azhar after one bad series. In ODIs too Pakistan doesn't need Salman, players like Faheem Ashraf, Shadab, Imad have given pakistan better all round options.

  20. #20
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    Butt was never special even before his ban. There are much better players than him, he should stop thinking about a recall now, the team has moved on from him.

  21. #21
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    Salman must be distraught


    "Last time Uganda toured Canada, half their team ran away to start a new life" - cricfan967

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by goran View Post
    Butt was never special even before his ban. There are much better players than him, he should stop thinking about a recall now, the team has moved on from him.
    This.

    A couple of decent scores in Australia doesn't make up for a 30 batting average after 30 test matches.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by pakistanigoneaussie View Post
    Salman must be distraught
    We needed him. Badly. He would have called three no balls correctly for sure. You can't get that kind of reliability.

  24. #24
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    LAHORE - Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt has said that it were team work and discipline, which helped green caps register ‘historical’ first Test victory against hosts England at Lord’s.

    Talking to The Nation on Sunday, Butt said: “It is great victory, which brought smiles on the entire Pakistani nation. No one was expecting such an impressive win but the green caps played really well and made the day possible.

    “The most appreciable thing witnessed throughout the first Test was team work as every individual played with greater responsibility and contributed well in their team’s triumph. No doubt it was the most inexperienced team Pakistan played with, but they proved their mettle at English soil through their outstanding performances and won glory for their country,” he added.

    Salman Butt said that Pakistan team never let the match out of their hands as first bowlers bowled brilliantly and bundled out English batsmen to 184 and then post 363, having 179 runs lead. Our bowlers once again did well and restricted England to 242, and then easily achieved 64-run target losing just one wicket.

    “Pakistan bowling department remained very disciplined throughout the match as they not only bowled exceptionally but also helped Pakistan put tremendous pressure on English team, which benefited our batsmen well and they also played their role remarkably. Pace trio of M Abbas, M Aamir and Hassan Ali were instrumental with ball as they captured crucial wickets to brighten Pakistan’s chances of winning the first Test. Spinner Shadab Khan also bowled well and managed to bag two crucial wickets in the second innings,” he added.

    Butt especially gave credit of Pakistan’s disciplined bowling to bowling coach Azhar Mahmood, saying, “After a long time, such a disciplined and well-planned bowling was witnessed against a strong and home-favourite team England. Azhar Mahmood trained and guided the bowlers well and transformed them into winning stuff, for which he deserves due credit.”

    The former captain also gave credit of historical Pakistan victory to head coach Mickey Arthur, chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq, entire team management and especially PCB chairman Najam Sethi, whose tireless efforts for PSL have now started bearing fruit, as many of the youngsters in Test team were the findings of the PSL.

    He said that now the next test of the team is the second Test at Leeds, and the green caps need to carry the momentum in it. “Ball swings a lot in Leeds and it will once again help Pakistan bowlers a lot as our bowlers swing well and hope they will once again succeed in destroying English batting line up and batsmen too played key role in team’s win.”

    Salman Butt, who is fasting and training for the next season, said: “I am fasting in Ramzan and also training hard for the next first class season. As everyone knows, I have performed well in the recent first class season and keen to do well in the upcoming one. “My job is to keep performing well in the domestic cricket while rest is on the PCB and selectors, whether they give me chance to represent my country once again and win laurels for it,” he added.

    https://nation.com.pk/E-Paper/lahore...ge-17/detail-3

  25. #25
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    Salman Butt you will never be picked to represent Pakistan again.... fullstop

  26. #26
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    Salman Butt is a cheat and frankly not good enough. Just because he could cut like Saeed Anwar doesn't mean he was as good as Saeed Anwar. And this man is a repeat offender. He participated in the Ajman All Stars league for all match-fixers and made some extra money.

    I think it's time to stop providing any coverage to this disgraceful and shameless human being. He has no remorse for his actions and no regard for anyone but himself. His self-serving behind should be thrown out of the sport altogether.
    Last edited by Abdullah719; 29th May 2018 at 17:31.

  27. #27
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    Salman Butt should just be content being a domestic cricketer and playing in a few low level international leagues here and there. But he is never playing for Pakistan again. In fact he could have had a real shot at commentary after his playing days given his command over the English Language but that too is unrealistic now, the guy should be planning for life after cricket now.

  28. #28
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    Clearly, the conditions were not as much a problem as it were for the English.

  29. #29
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    We’ve come a long way since this jobber dragged our name in mud.

    2 pretty epic tours since.

    Har raat ki subah hoti hai.


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