Disgraced former Pakistan captain Salman Butt has arrived in Bangladesh to play his first full-fledged competition outside his homeland since serving a five-year ban for spot fixing, an official said on Tuesday.
He was cleared by the Pakistan Cricket Board to play in the latest edition of the Dhaka Premier League, a popular Bangladesh club franchise which runs until March 20.
Butt has committed to a full season for local giants Mohammedan Sporting Club, a club captained by Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan. The former Pakistan skipper is expected to make his debut against Brothers Union on Wednesday.
Mohammedan official Wasim Khan said the club was looking for a left-handed opener and Butt “easily fit” the profile, adding they were not concerned about his past. “It happened long, long ago. He already served out his ban,” he said. “We don’t think it should be an issue now. We have seen him scoring runs and that is important to us.”
Butt was captain of Pakistan when fast bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir delivered deliberate no-balls during a Test match against England at Lord’s in August 2010.
The trio admitted to working with a bookmaker and served time in prison in England before being suspended for a minimum five years by the International Cricket Council. The ban ended on Sept. 1, 2015.
Amir has since returned to international cricket but Butt and Asif’s careers were limited to Pakistan’s domestic competition.
Butt was allowed to play two matches in a Twenty20 competition in the United Arab Emirates in January—one controversial match in that event is under investigation by the ICC Anti-Corruption Unit—before being cleared to play in Bangladesh.
Dhaka Premier League is a 50-over tournament featuring many retired international players including Pakistan’s Wasim Akram and Shahid Afridi, Sri Lanka’s Arjuna Ranatunga and Sanath Jayasuriya, India’s Ajay Jadeja and England’s Neil Fairbrother.