Butt and Asif cleared for domestic cricket

While paceman Mohammad Amir has been playing domestic cricket for a few months now, former Pakistan players Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif have only now been cleared, and will be allowed to play from January.

The trio were convicted of spot fixing in 2010 and were banned for five years. Amir, now 23, got an earlier return after completing various rehabilitation programmes, and has been playing since April.

But the older duo had a longer road, and the PCB announced on Saturday that they will be allowed to play domestically in the new year.

PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan told AFP: "We have cleared Butt and Asif to play in the one-day tournament after they've completed their rehab program."

Paceman Asif, who is 33, was pleased with the development and hopes for a national recall, saying: "Of course, it was disappointing to be in the dressing room of the WAPDA team but not being able to go on the ground and play, but it will change as soon as next month.

"I think my fortunes will change and I will do my best to force my way into the national team."

The trio's return to the game has not gone down well with some national team players, with Mohammad Hafeez going so far as to turn down a Bangladesh Premier League deal to avoid playing alongside Amir.

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