Spot-fixing case: Butt agreed to bat maiden over

Updated: 06 October 2011 19:31 IST

Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt was implicated in fresh spot-fixing allegations on Thursday as part of a wider betting scam that may involve up to seven of the team's players.

Spot-fixing case: Butt agreed to bat maiden over

London:

Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt was implicated in fresh spot-fixing allegations on Thursday as part of a wider betting scam that may involve up to seven of the team's players. (Timeline in Pics: The spot-fixing controversy)

Butt and teammates Mohammed Asif and Mohammed Amir are accused of receiving money to ensure no-balls were deliberately bowled at a specified time in the fourth Test against England at Lord's last year.

The case took a new twist on the second full day of the trial at London's Southwark Crown Court when prosecutor Aftab Jafferjee claimed a tape recording showed that Butt also agreed to bat a maiden over on the final day of the fifth Test at The Oval.

Butt ended up coming to the crease earlier than expected and unwittingly scored a run, the court heard.

An alleged conversation between Butt and his agent Mazhar Majeed, accused of being the middleman in the scam, was read to the jury.

"You know the maiden we were doing in the first over?" Majeed said. Butt allegedly replied: "Yeah," before rejecting a request to bat another maiden in the third over.

"If not party to this corrupt agreement, you might expect Butt to say something to the effect of, 'what are you talking about?'" Jafferjee said.

Jafferjee said Majeed is alleged to have told an undercover reporter working for News of the World, the British tabloid which revealed the scam, that he had four other Pakistan players working for him.

Majeed named the players as bowler Wahab Riaz, wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal, and batsmen Umar Akmal and Imran Farhat. Riaz was questioned by police that summer over allegations of spot fixing but wasn't charged.

"These boys are going to be around for years, and I've got the best boys," Majeed is alleged to have told the undercover reporter, posing as a rich Indian businessman who had paid 10,000 pounds ($15,300) to fix part of the match at The Oval.

Jafferjee told the court that Majeed said there had been a "little question mark" about Farhat's potential involvement.

Majeed is alleged to have told the reporter that Butt was "1 million percent trustworthy."

Before the Lord's Test, the reporter and Majeed met in a hotel in London. The jury was shown a covertly filmed video of the reporter handing 140,000 pounds ($215,000) in 50-pound notes to Majeed, who counted out the money on a table in front of him.

Majeed promised the reporter that the 19-year-old Amir and Asif, 28, would deliver three no-balls at specific points in the match.

"To show we are serious I'm going to give you three no-balls. No-balls are the easiest and the clearest," Majeed is alleged to have said.

While Asif bowled deliveries where his foot was only inches past the line - not on it or behind it, which would have been legitimate balls - "the relatively hapless Amir would end up bowling no-balls that, as a seasoned cricket statistician will tell you, were the biggest no-balls he's ever seen," Jafferjee said.

Butt and Asif deny conspiracy to cheat and conspiracy to accept corrupt payments between August 15 and 29 last year. Amir and Majeed aren't required to appear in court.

Topics : Zulqarnain Haider Mohammad Amir Cricket Mohammad Asif Stuart Broad Zaheer Abbas Salman Butt
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