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Pak team "missing" banned pace bowler Aamir: Ijaz Butt

Islamabad, Wed, 30 Mar 2011 ANI

Islamabad, Mar 30(ANI): Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ijaz Butt has said that the national team is missing disgraced pace bowler Mohammad Aamir, who has been handed a five-year ban by an International Cricket Council (ICC) Anti-Corruption Tribunal on spot-fixing charges.


Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif are the other two Pakistan players to have been slapped with a lengthy ban on February 5 for their involvement in spot-fixing on last year's England tour.


"Our team has done well without three top players, Aamir, Asif and Salman but I still feel the team misses Aamir's presence because of his excellent cricketing abilities," the Daily Times quoted Butt, as telling the Pakistani media before crossing the Wagah border to travel to Mohali to watch the Indo-Pak World Cup semi-final.


"But I don't want to demoralize anyone and there is no doubt the other bowlers have done their best for the team," he added.


Butt said that the Indo-Pak semi-final was doubtlessly the biggest match of the ICC World Cup 2011.


"There is no doubt that this is the big match of the tournament no matter who wins. I think the International Cricket Council (ICC) could not have hoped for a better or greater advertisement for the tournament and the sport than this semi-final," he said.


The PCB chief said he was pretty confident that his team would do well in the highly anticipated semi-final despite the pressures and hype surrounding the match.


"There is no question that if the team wins this match and qualifies for the final they will be amply rewarded by the board and even the government. But we don't want to make any premature announcements let the match be played first," he said.


It is noteworthy that Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has already announced that he would gift land to each player if Pakistan wins the semi-final against India.


Butt said that he was extremely satisfied to see the Pakistan team qualify for the World Cup semi-final.


"Given the tough times we have gone through since the last two years I think the team have already done us proud by coming this far. It has shown to the world what Pakistan cricket is all about and the talent we possess," he added.


The PCB chief is expected to meet ICC president Sharad Pawar and Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) officials on the sidelines of the ICC meeting in Mumbai and during the World Cup final match later this weekend, to discuss the resumption of bilateral Indo-Pak cricket ties. (ANI)


Read More: Mumbai | Aami | Sharad Pawar

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