Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt has refused to play the National T20 Cup after he was demoted from the first XI of Central Punjab. After serving the five-year ban imposed on him for spot-fixing, the southpaw returned to domestic cricket in 2016 and hit the ground running.
He scored at a stunning average of 51.28 in T20 cricket for Lahore Whites before being picked up by Central Punjab last year. However, he did not get a chance in the playing XI and warmed the bench throughout. With the likes of Ahmed Shahzad, Babar Azam, Kamran Akmal and Umar Akmal in top order for Central Punjab, Salman Butt was well below in the pecking order.
Later he asked the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to put him in a different team but his request was denied and he was left on the bench. Things got worse for him this year as he was axed from the squad completely after the PCB selectors brought in Abid Ali.
According to ESPNcricinfo, Salman Butt was moved into the second XI so that he could lead the side. However, the veteran batsman refused the offer following which Nauman Anwar was appointed as the captain.
“Salman Butt, 36, was not selected in the first XI after he failed to feature in any of his side’s matches in the National T20 Cup 2019-20. In the HBL Pakistan Super League 2020, he has played only one game to date for Lahore Qalandars. However, considering his experience, he was offered to lead the second XI side, which he declined,” read a statement from PCB.
Salman Butt has done well in domestic cricket since his comeback. He announced his arrival in 2016 with a century in the National One-Day Cup, and went on to finish the tournament as its second-highest run-getter, with 536 runs at an average of 107.20.
He then led his first-class team, Water and Power Development Authority, to the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy title, scoring twin hundreds in the final to finish the season with 741 runs at 49.40. He was also the second-highest run-getter in the National T20 Cup in 2018, with 350 runs at 70.00.