Expected comeback in Pak squad after successful domestic season, says `surprised` Butt

Karachi [Pakistan], Apr.12 : Tainted former Pakistan skipper Salman Butt has expressed his disappointment after failing to make it to the Test squad for the upcoming series against West Indies, saying that he was expecting a place following his stellar performance in the last domestic season.

The 32-year-old, who was playing in his first major first-class tournament since his spot-fixing ban ended in September last year, struck 125 and 105 not out in the two innings of the match to help Water and Development Authority (WAPDA) settle with a draw against Habib Bank on the fifth day of the final of Quaid-e-Azam trophy in December last year.

Butt was also second highest run-getter in the National T20 Cup this year, scoring 350 runs in eight innings he played.

He followed that up with 749 runs at 49.40 in the first-class season. However, Butt's quest for a return to international cricket dealt a major blow after he was not named in the 16-member Test squad for the three-match series against the Caribbean side, beginning April 21 at Sabina Park.

"Yes I was surprised. I was expecting a place in the Pakistan Test squad after having performed very well in the last domestic season and winning a domestic Cup competition and scoring hundreds in each innings of that final which has never been achieved previously in Pakistan domestic cricket.

So I was very hopeful, but now it's a case of hoping that my selection has been delayed, but it will happen one day," PakPassion.net quoted Butt as saying.

Butt, along with Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir, was found guilty of various offences of corrupt behaviour relating to the Lord's Test between England and Pakistan in August 2010 by the independent Anti-Corruption Tribunal in February 2011.

Although Amir has returned to the national team in impressive style against New Zealand in January last year, Asif and Butt remained sidelined and are yet to be considered for Pakistan selection.

When quizzed it would be harder for you and Asif to catch the eye of the selectors than it was for Mohammad Amir, Butt answered in affirmation.

"That has been very visible. I have played a full season, I have got the runs on the board, I have proved that my fitness is of a good standard, whereas Amir was picked as soon as he was eligible to play for Pakistan.

There is no question that my journey back to the Pakistan team will be much harder than it was for Mohammad Amir," he said.

Butt, however, insisted that his omission would not going to harm his confidence and that he would continue to put his best foot forward in order to gain the national selectors' attention.

"I will do the same again. These setbacks are not going to damage my confidence or make me feel disheartened. The Pakistan One-Day Cup starts in a couple of days and my plan is to make sure that I am scoring heavily and in form when my chance for Pakistan finally comes around once again," he added.

Source: ANI