Raza out of Aus-Pak tri-series
21 jUNE 2018
. . . available for Pakistan ODIs
ALL-rounder Sikandar Raza Butt has confirmed that he will miss Zimbabwe Cricket’s tri-series against Australia and Pakistan commencing on July 1 at Harare Sports Club.
Instead, Raza Butt will be available for the inaugural Global T20 in Canada where he is set to play for the Montreal Tigers.
Raza Butt says his unavailability for the Australia-Pakistan series has nothing to do with the financial standoff with ZC but had already committed himself to the Montreal Tigers before confirmation of the July tri-series.
“When I entered my name in the auction, the tri-series wasn’t confirmed,” Raza Butt said.
“To be honest with you, nothing, no fixture was confirmed for Zimbabwe so I entered into that league and when I got auctioned the first thing I did was to ring the chairman.
“I was meant to be in the country on the 28th (of June) but my chairman advised to be in the country a lot sooner so that we can plan forward and try to see what’s the best way to go forward and I came back so that I can have my meetings with the chairman.”
He added: “And I said that in my interview before that with chief selector, Director of Cricket and even Mr Lalchand as head coach which in my opinion I thought all four meetings went really well. I thought we found a common ground.”
Raza Butt clarified that he is only not available for the Australia-Pakistan tri-series but is open for selection for the Pakistan ODIs set for Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo from July 13-22.
“I have made myself available for the ODIs but that remains to be seen. That will I be picked for those ODIs, I don’t know yet.
“…I think it’s no one’s fault that lack of planning and fixtures doesn’t help us to plan our lives. I wasn’t gonna sit at home for six months and not play any cricket to be honest.”
However, Raza Butt is yet to be issued the No-Objection Certificate (NOC) for the Global T20 by ZC. In the event that ZC refuse to give him the NOC, Raza Butt will still go to Canada.
“I will still go but it will mean I will terminate my contract with Zimbabwe Cricket… but I will still be available for selection and if they select that is fine. As long as they know I am still keen to play for Zimbabwe.”
The grapevine has been awash with reports that Raza Butt could dump Zimbabwean cricket for good.
This came after Raza Butt’s total commitment to the Global T20 at the expense of national duty.
But the 32-year-old says he has Zimbabwe at heart.
“…I remain committed to Zimbabwe. It’s just that I was entered into the auction way before this tri-series was confirmed. I have committed and given my word.
“People who know me know how high I value my words and my commitments. Once I have committed I cannot back away from my commitments and that’s exactly the case here and I am going to honour and fulfil my commitment,” he said.