LAHORE - Stylish opening batsman Salman Butt has said he is ready for the occasion and keen to deliver for Lahore Qalandars in fourth edition of Pakistan Super League (PSL).

Talking to a private TV channel, Butt, who replaced Mohamamd Hafeez in Lahore Qalandars’ squad for PSL-4, said: “It’s great news for me. I worked really hard and finally I got a chance to exhibit my prowess at higher level. Now I am fully focused to perform in the PSL-4 and strengthen my chances to represent my country once again.”

When asked who broke this news to him, Butt said: “I received a message from Lahore Qalandars coach Aqib Javed. I think this is the best message I have read. I am really grateful to all my family, friends and well-wishers and especially Lahore Qalandars, who put faith in me and gave me a chance, which I will try to utilize well and help my team register crucial victories in the PSL-4.”

Butt has been waiting for almost a decade to get such chance, which Qalandars have provided him. On this, he said: “Throughout this tough time, I tried to keep myself motivated, keep on practising hard and trying to give out my best to keep knocking at the selectors’ door. I tried to give my hundred percent and now justice prevailed and my efforts bore first fruit in shape of getting place in PSL-4.”

Earlier, Hafeez has been ruled out of the tournament after fracturing his thumb during his side’s 16 February match against Karachi Kings. As per the event regulations, Lahore Qalandars requested the event technical committee, headed by Mudassar Nazar, to replace Hafeez with Salman. This request has been approved.

Salman has been in the player draft for the past three years and comes in as a Silver Category player. Salman was a member of the Pakistan squad that won the ICC World T20 in England in 2009. He has played 24 T20Is in which he has scored 595 runs. In 74 T20s, Salman has scored 2,278 runs at an average of just over 36 with a strike-rate of 113.5.

Qalandars coach Aqib Javed said: “It was unfortunate to lose Hafeez. We believe that only an experienced Pakistani player like Salman Butt can replace him.” Team manager Sameen Rana said: “Salman is a good addition to squad. He was available in past and has been in good form. We believe that he deserve a chance to showcase his form at this level as well.” Lahore Qalandars has played three matches to date and has won one.