Pakistan cricket head coach Waqar Younis has thrown his weight behind left-hand batsman Salman Butt and right-arm pacer Muhammad Asif’s international return, saying they should be treated the same way as rehabilitated left-arm bowler Muhammad Amir, the Press Trust of India reported.
“The way I see it, if Butt and Asif perform well in their comeback in domestic cricket, why can’t they be considered for a second chance to play international cricket?” said Waqar, while talking to a private news channel.
“All three committed the same mistake and also underwent the same punishment so why should they be treated differently,” added Waqar.
Salman surprised everyone with a century in the national one-day championship on his return to competitive cricket after a gap of five and half years. Meanwhile, Asif also took two wickets to cause a stir.
Earlier, Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Shaharyar Khan and T20 captain Shahid Afridi said it would be difficult for Salman and Asif to make a comeback as compared to Amir.
Afridi was also of the view that Salman and Asif should not be given a second chance as they had lied about their involvement in the spot-fixing case for three years and even criticised the Pakistan team when they were banned.
“I don’t know what Afridi is thinking. Maybe, he has his reasons but generally I think Salman and Asif deserve the same chance as Amir and if they show form and fitness, why not consider them for selection?” the coach further asked.
Waqar added that it was time to move on and forgive Amir and accepting him back was the first step.