Long road back into cricket for Asif, Butt

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will roll out a rehabilitation programme for Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif as they make their return to cricket after a five-year ban for being involved in spot-fixing.

Both players will be eligible to start playing competitively from 2 September after the PCB accepted the ICC's decision to lift the ban.

The duo will not immediately be available in first-class cricket as the PCB want them to start at the bottom and work their way through the ranks. It is the same path that was taken by Mohammad Amir when he was allowed to play earlier this year.

The PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan told ESPNcricinfo:"ICC requires us to put these boys under a programme in which they address the players and lecture them on anti-corruption.

"They should tell the players at all levels about their misconduct and the disgrace they brought into cricket. Meanwhile, we are allowing them to play club cricket and grade 2 cricket, the same policy we adopted with Amir.

"They also have to see psychologist, and by playing grade 2 cricket have to prove their ability and fitness. They can't assume they will pick up where they left off five years ago. After all, they haven't played cricket for last five years.

"We have to see many factors, including how age has affected them. At the moment they cannot walk back into contention for top cricket, they have to prove their ability to make their way into first-class cricket."

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