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‘Disgraced’ Pak cricketers ‘turn TV pundits’ for World T20 tourney

Karachi, Sept. 19 (ANI): Banned Pakistan cricketers Salman Butt and Mohammad Aamer, both serving long bans for spot-fixing, have turned television pundits for the World Twenty20 tournament which started earlier on Tuesday.

The duo have been banned from cricket for at least five years by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for their role in arranging deliberate no-balls to order during the 2010 Lord’s Test against England, reports the Daily Times.

Salman appeared on the ARY news channel during Pakistan’s five wicket win over arch-rivals India in a warm-up match in Colombo on Monday, while Aamer made an appearance on Express News the same day.

The channels said both players would give expert comments throughout the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka, and ARY ran promos with Salman with the tagline – “Stopped from playing, but not from speaking.”

In addition to their bans from the ICC, Salman, Aamer and Mohammad Asif were jailed by an English court for contriving to bowl no-balls with their agent Mazhar Majeed during the Lord’s Test.

The ICC had reacted sharply to Salman’s television role, where he did a stint as pundit for Pakistan’s Channel Five during last year’s 50-over World Cup.

“The ICC Board, having a zero tolerance attitude towards corruption, expressed disappointment at the decision by a Pakistan television channel, which has no relationship with the ICC, to employ the suspended Mr Salman Butt as a studio pundit during the World Cup,” then-ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat had said.

The ICC has not yet reacted to the new TV roles. Express News channel said they had received mixed reactions from the fans, with some criticising the banned players’ appearance but some appreciating their new roles. (ANI)