The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has ignited controversy by appointing former national team captain Salman Butt, who was embroiled in the notorious 2010 spot-fixing scandal, as a consultant to chief selector Wahab Riaz.
The decision has triggered a wave of criticism across social media platforms, with ex-cricketers, analysts, and fans expressing strong opposition to Butt's involvement in a key cricketing role.
Former national Test cricketer Muhammad Tanveer took to a social networking website to condemn Butt's appointment, recalling the 2010 spot-fixing incident that stained Pakistan's cricketing reputation. Tanveer highlighted Butt's role as captain during that tumultuous period, accusing him of betraying the country and bringing disgrace upon Pakistan's name in the global cricketing arena.
یہ وہ شخص ہے 2010 میں پاکستان ٹیم کا کپتان تھا میں اس سیریز میں ٹیم کے ساتھ تھا اس فکسر نے ملک بیچا اور پاکستان کا نام پوری دنیا میں بدنام کیا جیل بھی گیا اللّه معاف کرے یہ فکسر آج پاکستان ٹیم کا سلیکٹر ہے کہاں ہے پروفیسر pic.twitter.com/wk2oTHE7uv— Tanveer Says (@ImTanveerA) December 1, 2023
Sports journalist Dr. Nauman Niaz also weighed in on the controversy, questioning the PCB's decision-making process and expressing dissatisfaction with what he perceived as preferential treatment toward certain individuals within the cricketing circles. Niaz's critique implied regional bias in the selection of personnel, hinting that other qualified candidates from diverse backgrounds were overlooked for the consultancy role.
Lahore City Cricket Association Selection Committee or Model Town Cricket Selection Committee or Pakistan’s National Selection Committee?— Dr. Nauman Niaz (@DrNaumanNiaz) December 1, 2023
I wonder there were not even a single ex- eligible Test player(s) in rest of the Punjab, Sind, Balochistan, KPK?
Oh there is one Federal… pic.twitter.com/Bz4TGKAt92
The appointment has also drawn scrutiny towards Mohammad Hafeez, director and head of the national team, who had previously taken a staunch stance against corrupt cricketers. Some individuals on social media criticized Hafeez for seemingly contradicting his previous stance by not objecting to Butt's appointment despite his strong stance against corruption in cricket.
Fixers should not be allowed to represent Pakistan ever again -Mohammad Hafeez views about match fixers— Kashif Malik (@SportsK89857) December 1, 2023
What will @MHafeez22 do now after the appointment of Salman Butt?#SalmanButt #Hafeez #PAKvAUS#BabarAzam𓃵 #Virat #PakistanCricketTeam pic.twitter.com/Vwe7crIxMk
Various social media users expressed their dismay and discontentment over the decision, highlighting past allegations and controversies involving other players, including Wahab Riaz and Kamran Akmal, casting further doubt on the integrity of the selection process and the individuals involved.
The widespread backlash against PCB's decision has extended beyond social media, attracting severe criticism from the international media, adding to the mounting pressure on the cricketing body to address the concerns raised by the public and former cricketers.
What a shame for Pakistan & Pakistan cricket … That’s how International media reports PCB decision regarding Salman Butt’s inclusion 👇 pic.twitter.com/0wVZVU1NjX— Zubair Ali Khan (@ZubairAlikhanUN) December 1, 2023
Pakistan cricket board is amazing.— Satya Prakash (@Satya_Prakash08) December 1, 2023
Now they have appointed An other fixer (looser) in selection committee. Their one of the biggest match fixer Salman Butt in selection committee. #PakistanUnderFascism #Pakistan #PakistanCricket @im_SalmanButt pic.twitter.com/g3xCFys3lm
It’s been 13 years since the summer of 2010 and that spot fixing scandal still hurts. I don’t care how great a cricketing mind he may be, it’s despicable that the PCB would allow Salman Butt to take on this role. Pakistan is a country for the corrupt; the jokes on us 🙃 https://t.co/9qSt9J3FZB— Hadeel Obaid (@hadouken51) December 1, 2023
Salman Butt destroyed Pakistan cricket to an extent that no one else could in our history. Pakistan cricket's integrity was shattered due to this man. Misbah and co did unreal hardwork to regain that and now PCB have appointed Butt as consultant selector. This fkn board.— Hassan (@Gotoxytop2) December 1, 2023
Salman Butt a certified fixer country seller appointed as a consultant of chief selector while Basit Ali , Mohammad Yousuf and Javed Miandad ignored , what the hell wrong with @TheRealPCB . pic.twitter.com/3FhRM0nPPM— Syed Ali Faraz Abidi (@DarkKnight_M27) December 1, 2023
Hafeez always said no to fixers. Now, Salman Butt in management—isn't this hypocrisy? Who was the main character in the England fixing mess? Forgiveness is one thing, but handing the national team to fixers? Absolutely not! Unacceptable! 🙏 😡 pic.twitter.com/3LybqgsWxa— S O H A I L👓 ( سہیل ) (@Msohailsays) December 1, 2023
Shame @TheRealPCB, @zakaashraf81 shame. This appointment beats every other foolhardiness on your part, every other! Never thought of I would see fixer @im_SalmanButt in any sort of association with the board! Shame https://t.co/gWXyGyZDsx— Hassan Masood (@MaNaraeMastana) December 1, 2023
The uproar reignited memories of the 2010 spot-fixing scandal that rocked the cricketing world. During the fourth Test match between Pakistan and England at Lord's, allegations surfaced that bowlers Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif deliberately bowled no-balls according to a pre-arranged plan, as reported by the English local newspaper 'News of the World' on August 28, 2010. The incident tarnished the sport's integrity and led to significant repercussions for those involved.