Salman Butt justifies poor PSL performance, takes a dig at other franchises

LAHORE (Monitoring Desk): Opener Salman Butt’s 21-run knock against Islamabad United in his solitary match for Lahore Qalandars in HBL Pakistan Super League (PSL) 5 was described by many as a match-losing innings.

Butt failed to gain any momentum in his painful 24-ball stay at the crease, where he not only let the required rate rise but also put pressure on his partner Ben Dunk to continue to take risks, leading to this departure. Qalandars eventually lost by 71 runs, which is now the record for the largest defeat in terms of runs in PSL history.

However, while speaking in a Youtube video, Butt defended his approach in the aforementioned match and said that his aim was to stablise the innings after losing early wickets. “I have played only one inning and three wickets fell in three overs in front of me, so what was my role there?” Butt asked.

“If we had built a partnership for 10 overs there, then you need just two to three good overs in T20s to turn the match around. If you look at the next match where Dunk played that [match-winning] knock, we chased 190 runs but we had only 60 runs in the first 10 overs. So when you spend some time at the crease, you gain momentum. Unfortunately, we couldn’t do that.”

“It was just one match, so how much soul searching can I do about what went wrong there. According to me, I was just trying to develop a partnership and any other batsman would have done the same.

Only those people are criticising me who don’t understand cricket and say anything on social media. It is easier to hit out and lose your wicket, and then say later that you were playing for the team. We needed stability there and a set batsman like me who could take the match deep as it would have improved our chances and that’s how you approach a T20 match,” he added.

The 35-year-old was also grateful to Lahore Qalandars for providing him an opportunity, when other franchises were wary of selecting him due to his tainted past.

“I am very grateful to Lahore Qalandars for giving me a chance,” he said. “I had really good performances in National T20 for the past three years but still no franchise picked me. When I asked other franchises about it, they said they wanted pious people in their team and maybe had no place for a sinner like me. At least there was someone who thought differently and took my performances into account, so I will always be grateful for that to Lahore Qalandars.”

“The way they deal with their players is really good. Not just me, but players who had no cricketing background, they worked with them and gave an opportunity at such a big stage. Despite the results in previous years, they should be given credit for their good work,” he added.