London:Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt claimed that the thousands of pounds of cash discovered by British police at his hotel room during spot-fixing investigation in late August was part of his legitimate tour allowances.
Butt and pacemen Mohammad Asif and Mohammed Aamer were provisionally suspended by International Cricket Council following allegations of spot-fixing in a 'News of the World' sting expose.
The British tabloid had claimed that the Pakistani trio had conspired with London-based bookie Mazhar Majeed to bowl deliberate no-balls for money during the fourth Test against England at Lord's in August.
There were subsequent accusations that police had discovered USD 24,036 in marked notes in Butt's hotel room.
However, Butt said the wades of money were legitimate as they were tour allowances given to him by the Pakistan Cricket Board.
"Well I think everybody knows the Pakistan Cricket Board pays us daily allowances on tours and it was a long tour," he said in an excerpt of interview at his Lahore home with Sky Sports due to be broadcast later.
"About 11,000 pounds of that money was from our daily allowances and being the captain I had an extra entertainment allowance which amounts to about 4,500 pounds from the tour, which I had with me," said Butt.
Butt's case, and that of Asif and Aamer, will be heard by a three-man panel chaired by English lawyer Michael Beloff, who heads the ICC's code of conduct commission, at a hearing in Doha, Qatar, next month.
Butt said he is determined to resume playing professional cricket and his love for the game has not diminished despite the spot-fixing scandal.
"The love of the game has got me there and that love is bigger than anything. I still remain positive and I know what I'm made of and where I've come from, and how I've played my cricket. Believe me, it has been a lot of passion all throughout my life," he said.
Asked if he was worried he would never play at the top level again, Butt said "I would certainly not like to think like that."
Butt also spoke about the support he's received since spot fixing allegations came out in late August.