UK government could deny Salman Butt's return to international cricket

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Football News

Former Pakistan captain and one of the main characters involved in the 2010 spot-fixing scandal Salman Butt could be denied a return to the United Kingdom for the Test series later this year.

Pakistan are scheduled to play four Test matches in England from July later this year and will be the Men in Green's first visit to the country in six years.

Butt, along with fast-bowler Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif were found guilty of spot-fixing during the third test of their series in 2010 at Lords, after which the 31-year-old was banned from participating in any cricket activity for the minimum of five years.


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The 31-year-old was also convicted of criminal charges in Britain, where he was jailed for 30 months, but under the UK government early release policy, he only served seven months of his sentence before he was deported back to Pakistan.

Under the law which was amended in December 2012, a person who was sentenced for more than 12 months shall not be allowed to enter the country for 10 years after completion of the whole sentence. On the UK Home Office website, it states: "If a person has been sentenced to a period of between 12 months and less than 4 years imprisonment, the ECO [Entry Clearance Officer] must refuse the application until 10 years has passed since the end of the sentence.

“The end of the sentence should be taken to mean the entire sentence imposed, not just the time a person spent in prison."

If Butt will not be allowed to enter in the UK for his criminal record, he will not be the first sportsman to face the law, as the former Boxing Champion Mike Tyson was also barred from entering in Britain due to the same law in 2013.

The Lahore-born opener’s five-year ban came to an end in September 2015, after which he scored 536 runs at an average of 107 in a domestic 50-over cup competition on his return.

In an interview with ESPNCricinfo, Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq said that he would like to see more of the left-handed opener in the upcoming Pakistan Cup, which starts this week.

“Salman is playing well and overall I didn't see any such difference since he left [in 2010],” said Misbah.

“He is a good prospect and he has also scored ample runs after his comeback. Watching him in the nets he looks good, but now we have to see how well he will do in the upcoming tournament.”

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