ISLAMABAD (AFP) – Former Pakistan head coach Geoff Lawson on Wednesday said he believes Salman Butt can make a successful comeback to the national side.
The former Australian fast-bowler praised Butt’s skills with the bat. “When I was his coach, he was an outstanding talent. That talent doesn’t go away, but it depends on how much you are motivated and how much you still want to do well,” he said. “It wouldn’t surprise me if he made a successful international comeback,” he added.
However, the 31-year-old was not selected for the 35-man camp for England’s tour by chief selector Inzamamul Haq, citing his lack of experience in four-day season.
Speaking about Muhammad Amir, Lawson said he remembers the bowler as an impressive young player in the Under-19 squad. “Amir was working with the Under-19s and even then he looked very impressive. I am pleased that after a difficult period he has come back bigger and stronger and is bowling terrifically well,” he said.
Recently, the 24-year-old participated in Pakistan’s tour of New Zealand, his first international match since 2010. Since then he went on to perform in Asia Cup and World T20 for Pakistan as well as in domestic tournaments such as Pakistan Super League (PSL) and Pakistan Cup.
Talking about the attitude of some Pakistani players such as Ahmed Shehzad and Umar Akmal, who were dropped from tour of England for disciplinary problems in Pakistan Cup, Lawson said if people are not willing to work hard then there are enough good players in Pakistan to replace them. “Get people who are motivated. Pakistan has had some pretty successful times under Waqar Younis and Misbahul Haq, and one would hope that the players would continue to be motivated,” he said.
Commenting on the day-night Test cricket, Lawson said he is surprised at the resistance from some countries. “Well done to Pakistan in agreeing to play a day-night Test match in Australia. The pink ball is not that different from the red one, you just have to practice with it,” he said. “We use red or white, so why not use pink cricket balls? Pakistan should be congratulated on agreeing to play in Australia with the pink ball,” he added.