Karachi: Pakistan's tainted cricketers Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif said that they wanted to "redeem" themselves for their past mistakes as their five-year ban handed by the ICC for spot-fixing expires yesterday at midnight.
Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt
"I am keen to get back to playing cricket once again and I am prepared to face my detractors and I am ready to be apologetic to them. I have already apologized before for my actions," Butt told PTI from Lahore. Butt was the Pakistan captain when he, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamir were exposed for spot-fixing during the fourth
Test against England at Lords in August 2010.
The trio was later banned for five-years each and also served jail time after being found guilty of corruption, cheating and fraud by the anti-corruption authorities of the ICC and a judge of the London crown court. Aamir has already been given relaxation by the ICC to resume playing domestic cricket but the Pakistan Cricket Board last week announced a road map for their reintegration and rehabilitation into mainstream cricket which effectively rules them out to play first class cricket before February 2016.
"I have been through five very testing years and they made me think and ponder over a lot of things, my life, my goals and my family. Today I am clear I want to redeem myself in the eyes of the Pakistani people and cricket world," Butt said. "I know there will be difficulties in our comeback trail but I am ready to face that. I am ready to apologize again and I am ready to try to convince everyone I will not repeat what I did in the past," Butt said.
He said the punishment of not being able to play cricket for five years in his prime was very hard but he realized he was responsible for his own actions. "I now just want to resume my cricket career and do well," he added. Asif said he was ready to win around his detractors with his performances.
"We have been criticized a lot and there has been a lot said about us and I accept that after what happened. But I just feel everyone deserves a second chance to redeem himself," he added. "I am ready to do everything to reintegrate back into mainstream cricket and I am already apologetic but I know I have to perform really well to undo what I did five years back," Asif stated.