Butt turns TV pundit

Disgraced cricketer banned from playing, but former Pakistan Test captain Salman Butt can't keep away from the game.

     The Pakistan TV channel have defended their decision, describing Butt as purely an 'expert' [Reuters]

    Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt has signed a contract with a Pakistan television channel to deliver commentary during the World Cup.

    Despite receiving a 10-year cricket ban following spot-fixing charges from the International Cricket Council (ICC) earlier this week, Butt signed a deal on Wednesday to act as a pundit for Channel 5, at the tournament jointly hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh which starts on February 19.

    "I have signed a contract with a television channel to do expert commentary," Butt told reporters.

    "As I am not playing in the event I thought it was worth participating as an expert."

    'Expert'

    The Channel 5 network said it had no issues signing up Butt because of his cricketing background.

    "We have signed him up purely as a cricket expert," a spokesman for the channel said.

    Butt was banned for 10 years, with five suspended, by the ICC anti-corruption tribunal last week after a hearing in Doha.

    Teammates Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer also received lengthy bans following the charges related to the Lord's Test against England last August.

    The PCB has terminated the central contracts of all three players and barred them from playing any national or club level match, but it remains to be seen whether they or the ICC object to Butt appearing as an expert during the event.

    Butt, who played 78 ODIs for Pakistan, scoring 2,725 runs at an average of 36.82, said he wanted to continue to be involved in the game despite the ban handed to him,

    "My career is with cricket and I will play cricket, just for the World Cup I want to turn as expert," said Butt.

    Facing charges

    The former opener still retains the right to appeal in the international court of arbitration for sports against the ban for his involvement in spot-fixing.

    Butt is also facing criminal charges of accepting bribes and fraud by the London Metropolitan Police and has to appear in a London court on March 17.

    Butt said he hoped there would be no problem with his stint as an expert for the channel and a Pakistan Cricket Board official doubted there would be.

    "This channel is a private one and has no holding rights with the ICC or us again and it is their private venture," he said.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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