ISLAMABAD - Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt has said that he is fully fit, motivated and eager to lead his side Wapda for the third year in running in the country’s premier tournament Quaid-e-Azam Trophy commencing tomorrow (Saturday).

Talking to The Nation, Butt said: “I am captaining the side third year in running and leading the side quite well. Total four tournaments are played every year and by the grace of Almighty, we managed to win one final, lost two finals and also played one semifinal. We always finish in top four. We have a balanced squad, which is a blend of youth and experienced and I am hopeful, we will excel and win the title for our department this year as well.”

He said: “I am good shape and form as I have played a few practice matches and my performances was very good. I was also hopeful of staging comeback in the national team after series of top class performances in the last two years, but I don’t know why I was ignored again, reasons best known to PCB and chief selector. But my job is to keep giving my best and to leave the rest on the selectors. It is my utmost desire to represent my country once again.

“I believe in merit only. It is not about favouring someone or even thinking about shortcuts, instead I just demand my genuine selection in the national team. Pakistan team badly needs an experienced opener and being senior batsman, I can provide the green caps much-needed experience at the top of the order. The selectors should think about giving me a chance, which I deserve since long, as I have been giving the best performances for the last two seasons,” he added.

Butt said he personally feels that his dark days are about to end. “Imran Khan has assumed the powers and he knows everything and he will provide justice not only to me but also to all the other deserving athletes, who despite giving their best, not getting chances.”

“I am sure the things will be decided purely on merit. I know the Prime Minister has yet to pick the genuine talent and he can’t do injustice to sportsmen. I am also hopeful that incoming PCB chairman Ehsan Mani will also streamline the things and justice will prevail in all the departments,” he added.

He said domestic cricket is actual cricket of the country. “I am quite sure that new chairman will pay great heed towards improving domestic structure and intruders will be given shut up call, as in the past, especially in the regions, lot of blue-eyed players were given nod of approval, surpassing the genuine talent, which deprived a great number of genuine players of their due right of representing the country at international level.”

“I am hopeful the blue-eyed players and officials will get shut up call and merit will prevail as all the decisions will be made purely on merit and stern action will be taken against those, who had destroyed the careers of a number of players. I believe that without taking drastic steps and implementing tough rules and laws, there is no hope of any betterment in Pakistan cricket. I request Imran Khan to check the injustices and provide justice to all,” Butt concluded.