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Karachi: Disgraced former captain Salman Butt has claimed that Shahid Afridi blocked his return to the Pakistan team for the 2016 World T20 despite him serving the five-year ban following the 2010 spot-fixing scandal.

Butt said he was close to being selected for the World T20 in India after he had resumed playing domestic cricket following the completion of his ban in 2015 but Afridi resisted his selection.

“I was called to the NCA by head coach, Waqar Younis and batting coach, Grant Flower and they took me to the nets and checked my fitness,” Butt said on the Gsports show on GTV News channel on Tuesday night. “Waqar bhai asked me if I was mentally ready to play for Pakistan again and I said yes very much.”

 

The 34-year-old said everything was cleared for his comeback to the Pakistan team before Afridi, who was the captain then, stepped in and blocked his return. “I don’t know what prompted him to do this, but no I didn’t go to him or speak about it. I didn’t feel it was right. But what I know is that Waqar and Flower told me I was playing the World Cup and then Afridi resisted,” Butt claimed.

Pakistan fared poorly in the World T20 as a result of which both Afridi and Waqar were forced to resign. Butt said he didn’t think individual players should be allowed to decide the fate of players returning from bans.

The Test opener said he was also close to selection in the Pakistan team in early 2017 when the spot-fixing scandal broke out in the Pakistan Super League. “I don’t know what more I have to do to be considered for selection again. I have completed my rehabilitation and I have scored runs.

“But I think it is great injustice if no one is clear with us and tells us no matter what we do we are not going to be picked for Pakistan again. I don’t see the use of working so hard and doing so much if we are left to remain in uncertainty.”

Butt and his teammates, Muhammad Asif and Muhammad Aamir were caught in the spot-fixing scandal on the tour of England in August, 2010. Butt was named as Pakistan captain after Afridi had stepped down as Test captain following a defeat in the first Test at Lord’s.


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Chahal registers best ODI bowling figures by a spinner Down Under

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Mumbai :Indian leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal on Friday recorded the best bowling figures by a spinner in an ODI clash in Australia, during the series-decider against the Aussies in Melbourne.

Chahal picked six wickets while conceding just 42 runs at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), registering a dominant performance against the hosts, in a crucial clash. He also became the first spinner to pick six wickets in an ODI in Australia.

The bowler’s excellent performance certainly played a key role in India restricting Australia to a total of just 230.

 

The 28-year-old cricketer further equalled the best-ever ODI figures registered by any bowler in an ODI clash in Australia, alongside former Indian fast-bowler Ajit Agarkar.

Agarkar had accumulated the same tally as recorded by Chahal, against the hosts at the same venue, back in 2004.

Australian paceman Mitchell Starc enjoys a bowling tally, which trails the figures registered by the duo by a single run, having picked six wickets for 43 runs against India at the MCG, back in 2015.

English fast-bowler Chris Woakes is the fourth name on the list, after accumulating figures of 6/45 against Australia in Brisbane, 2011.

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Phogat becomes first Indian nominated for Laureus Awards

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Mumbai: Ace Indian wrestler Vinesh Phogat has become the first Indian to receive a nomination in the prestigious Laureus World Sports Awards to be held in Monica on 18 February.

The 24-year-old Indian, who made a sensational comeback after battling a long injury lay-off to win a gold medal at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and Jakarta Asian Games in 2018, has been nominated for the Laureus World Comeback of the Year.

The Haryana wrestler, who was stretchered off after dislocating her knee during the quarterfinals of 50kg freestyle event at the 2016 Olympic Games, has been nominated alongside US Tour Championship winner Tiger Woods, who won his first tournament in five years.

 

Also nominated are four inspirational Winter Olympic athletes; Japanese figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu, Canadian snowboarder Mark McMorris, US ski racing legend Lindsey Vonn and Dutch Paralympic champion Bibian Mentel-Spee.

The last time an Indian sporting feat made its way to the Laureus World Sports Awards was in 2004 when the Indian cricket team and Pakistan cricket team shared the Laureus Sport for Good Award for playing an International match despite political tensions between the two countries.

Most recently, Magic Bus from India won the Laureus Sport for Good award in 2014. However, Vinesh makes history as the first Indian athlete to be nominated in one of the seven main categories at the Laureus World Sports Awards.

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All foreign stars will play PSL ties in Pakistan, says Mani

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LAHORE: All star cricketers will come to Pakistan to play in the eight matches of the fourth Pakistan Super League (PSL) scheduled for Karachi and Lahore, chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Ehsan Mani said.

The PSL matches will be staged from Feb 14 to March 17 at three venues — Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi — in the United Arab Emirates before the remaining fixtures move to Pakistan with Karachi staging five games, including the final, and Lahore three.

Talking to media on sidelines of a friendly cricket match between the Sports Journalists Association of Lahore (SJAL) and the UK-based Pakistani journalists at the Gaddafi Stadium, Mani said a good number of star cricketers had signed up in the six PSL franchises.

 

However, because of security concerns, prominent overseas players have been reluctant to travel to Pakistan. But with the passage of time, the number of prominent cricketers willing to visit Pakistan has risen. In the recent development the ex-South Africa captain A.B. de Villiers has already pledged to play two matches of Lahore Qalandars in Lahore on March 9 and 10.

To a query, Mani said the talks with Cricket Australia are still on to convince them to send their national side to Pakistan for two games of the five-match One-day International series in the UAE in March despite reports of Australia’s expressing their reluctance regarding playing here.

The PCB chief declared that he has persuaded CA to send a security delegation to assess the current situation in Pakistan before taking a final decision, which is expected to be taken before the PSL begins in the second week of February.

Mani further said that talks were on with the cricket boards of South Africa and England to send different age-group teams to Pakistan.

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