Salman Butt says money in his room was legitimate


Salman Butt, one of the three Pakistan players suspended following accusations of spot-fixing, has denied the allegations and said the money found in his room was legitimate – including payment for opening an ice-cream parlour – and accounted for.

“I have not done anything such as this in all my life or cricketing career,” he said in an interview with Sky television, broadcast in the UK on Monday night.

Butt was made captain of Pakistan’s Test side after Shahid Afridi’s retirement midway through the England tour. During the fourth Test against England at Lord’s, Butt, along with seamers Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif, was implicated in a News of the World sting video that alleged that the trio was involved in bowling deliberate, planned no-balls. The ICC has since suspended the three players from the international game and will decide their fate at an independent tribunal from January 6-11 in Doha.

Butt has now claimed that since he was newly in charge of the side, he could not have exerted the kind of influence required to convince bowlers to deliberately overstep. “I became captain as a result of an accident where the previous captain suddenly decided he couldn’t play Test cricket anymore, so to have this kind of influence by three or four games, I think any kind of captain would like that,” Butt said. “These kinds of people [Asif and Amir] do not let others decide their roles. The team knows, the opponents know who is going to open the bowling. They just have to decide their ends which they always do, so there is nothing more I would like to say.”

Butt did not elaborate on the video evidence since he was bound by the ICC’s code of conduct to remain silent on the issue. When asked about the currency notes found in his hotel room in London during a raid following the release of the video, Butt said the money was legitimate and accounted for.

“People can have their opinions but I actually know where the money came from,” Butt said. “Everybody knows the Pakistan Cricket Board pays us daily allowances on tours and it was a long tour, so about £11,000 of this money was from my daily allowances. Being captain, I had extra entertainment allowance which amounts to around £4500 from the tour.

“The rest of the money was advance payment for my bat stickers for which I was under contract with Capital Cricket, which shows on the back of my bat. I was given £2500 for the opening of an ice-cream parlour in Tooting [in south London]. I believe the name [of the parlour] is Afters and the manager, or the people working over there, will tell you that I had to do the opening of the ice-cream parlour along with Mohammad Amir. That’s what we were paid for.”

Meanwhile, Aftab Gul, the lawyer who will be representing Butt at January’s hearings, has claimed he has evidence of corruption in the game and the names of the people involved “will make your hair stand on end”. Gul said spot-fixing was the biggest form of cricket corruption since it was easy to pull off.

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This post was submitted by Mudit Agrawal.

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