In a strategic move to strengthen the selection panel, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has named former cricketers Kamran Akmal, Rao Iftikhar Anjum, and Salman Butt as consultant members to chief selector Wahab Riaz. This decision has stirred both anticipation and scepticism among cricket enthusiasts.The trio assumes their roles immediately, coinciding with Pakistan’s upcoming five-match T20I series against New Zealand, scheduled to kick off on January 12, following the Test tour to Australia. PCB emphasizes that when not involved in selection duties, the consultants may be assigned additional responsibilities, including conducting skill camps.

Worth pointing out that Butt has served his time and Wahab and Akmal themselves were only ever questioned in 2010 but just lookin like a wow on optics. (Also Hafeez v publicly expressed unhappiness with Amir return so not sure how he feels about this)
— Osman Samiuddin (@OsmanSamiuddin) December 1, 2023

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Akmal and Anjum’s Familiar Territory

While Kamran Akmal and Rao Iftikhar Anjum have prior experience in selection responsibilities, this marks Butt’s first official role with PCB since his return from a ban after the spot-fixing scandal of 2010. Akmal, having represented Pakistan in various formats, was named chair of PCB’s Junior Selection committee earlier this year. Anjum, part of a three-man committee in Shahid Afridi’s interim chief selector era, now brings his expertise to the current panel.

Butt’s Controversial Return

Salman Butt’s appointment has raised eyebrows due to his infamous involvement in the spot-fixing scandal. Despite being banned and serving time for his role in the 2010 controversy, Butt’s return to an official position with the PCB has triggered mixed reactions from cricket fans. This move is a significant step for Butt, who played 33 Tests, 78 ODIs, and 24 T20Is and captained the team during the tumultuous period.

The Fans’ Verdict

While Akmal and Anjum’s selection was generally well-received, Butt’s inclusion has sparked criticism among fans. Social media platforms are buzzing with reactions, expressing reservations about the PCB’s decision and questioning the wisdom of appointing a figure associated with a dark chapter in Pakistan cricket.

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