KARACHI - The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is planning to plead the case of banned Pakistani cricketer Salman Butt with the International Cricket Council (ICC). PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan said in an interview that the former Test captain, who is serving a five-year ban for spot fixing, had shown willingness to meet all the requirements before the board can plead his case with the ICC for some relaxation. "In our recent communication with him, Butt appears to have learnt his lesson and his admission of guilt is in line with the ICC protocol on rehabilitation of 'corrupt' players."

Shaharyar also said that he had clearly told Butt that after admitting his guilt, he has to take part in corrective education and inform the public of the perils of match-fixing as laid down by the ICC protocols. Butt, M Aamir and M Asif were all banned for minimum five years in early 2011 by the ICC anti-corruption tribunal after being found guilty of spot fixing during Pakistan's tour to England in late 2010. While Aamir has already got a relaxation from the ICC and has been allowed to play domestic cricket before his ban ends in September this year following the PCB pleading his case, Khan said the case of Butt was different.  "Aamir admitted to his guilt and agreed to meet the ICC requirements for rehabilitation much earlier, that is why we pleaded his case and he is now playing cricket. "In Salman Butt's case after his five-year ban ends also in September there is the matter of the five-year suspended sentence passed by the ICC tribunal," the PCB chief said.

"It is up to the ICC anti-corruption unit and tribunal whether Butt has to serve the suspended sentence or he is allowed to resume playing cricket after his existing ban ends in September," Shaharyar explained. The PCB chief said for the ICC to consider giving relaxation to Butt, the former captain has to cooperate fully with the anti-corruption unit and the PCB. "We have spoken to him and explained things in writing. He is now willing to follow our advice and is repentant about what happened. He also told us he is a changed man and just wants another chance to prove he has learnt his lesson."

In an interview to London-based ITV News, Butt, who for the first time publicly admitted to and apologised for spot-fixing in 2013, yet again sought forgiveness from fans in Pakistan and also had a message for young cricketers. "Whatever happened, we need to tell the youngsters to avoid shortcuts in life and if you get approached by people who provoke you in to getting into something, that is not right," Butt said.