ISLAMABAD - Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt has urged Prime Minister Imran Khan to provide him justice as he has been giving consecutive performances during the domestic cricket.

Talking to The Nation, Butt lamented that the PCB and selectors were completely ignoring him and also depriving Pakistan team of a seasoned opener, who could help resolve batting woes of national team. “My performances in the longer as well shorter versions are no secret. I just want to know why I am being given such rough treatment. I had long accepted my mistake and sought mercy from the entire nation. If the PCB high ups have decided not to let me and M Asif play for the national team again, they should clearly tell us.”

He said that he is unsure whether he would be able to win the backing of PCB and chief selectors. “My performances for the last three seasons in domestic cricket are good enough to show my form and fitness. I have scored a lot of runs and helped my department Wapda win Quaid-e-Azam Trophy. I am giving out my best and hoping for the best in return.”

The former captain said that no one can deny the significance of having experienced players in the team, which couldn’t easily be replaced by youngsters at once. “Every top team whole-solely depend and rely on experience and even half fit players are given nod of approval over youngsters. I am not against the inclusion of fresh blood in the national team, but there is a certain criterion.

“If you expose fresh players against even sides like Afghanistan and Bangladesh, the things will go from bad to worse. Look at last year’s Champions Trophy, Pakistan team only scored big runs in the final while prior to that, they were chasing targets, which were very much within their grasp,” he added.

About the Asia Cup, he said that the green caps were looking under pressure against the arch-rivals India and other teams as well. “There was no game plan and I feel the team selection was also a bit shaky and people had pinned high hopes on batting, which resulted in panic and the entire team was out of sorts. Even against Afghanistan, they were looking tensed and wanted things to happen for them, rather than giving their best.

The former captain said that the selectors had given too much priority to PSL-based performances and picked almost all the players from shorter version of the game, which exposed badly. “The first-class performers like me were completely ignored. The shorter format performances couldn’t produce results in 50-over game. They don’t know how to build the innings, as one or two innings give them 4 to 5 matches. For the last few months, we had played against minnows, so unless we play against top sides, our cricket is not going to improve,” he added.

He said that the match winners must be given nod of approval instead of preferring PSL performers. “If PCB gives me opportunity, I won’t disappoint the team and nation and will give my 100 percent. I am working very hard and really want to help green caps in registering crucial victories. I want justice and if I am performing, it is my right to play for Pakistan,” Butt concluded.