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Help Pakistan's Butt denies fixing claims
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#1


LONDON: Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt has denied allegations he was involved in a spot-fixing scam in England, saying "I have not done anything such as this in all my life or cricketing career".

And he insisted there was no way as a novice skipper he could have improperly influenced any of his players.

Butt and pacemen Mohammad Asif and Mohammed Aamer were provisionally suspended by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for breaking their code of conduct following allegations they'd conspired in the bowling of deliberate no-balls during the fourth Test against England at Lord's in August.

The trio, who all deny the allegations against them, face a disciplinary hearing in Doha next month that is set to determine their future in cricket.

The ICC, cricket's global governing body took action after the players were 'exposed' as part of an undercover probe by Britain's News of the World (NoW) tabloid newspaper.

Butt in his first major interview since the scandal broke, broadcast on British television's 'Special Report on Sky Sport News' here on Monday, said: "I would like to say obviously I have not done anything such as this in all my life or my cricketing career.

"But apart from this we as players have a code to follow from the ICC which restricts us to talk about this event before the hearing takes place so I am so sorry but I cannot talk about the case at the moment," added Butt, interviewed at his home in Lahore.

The opening batsman was thrust into the Test captaincy after Shahid Afridi quit as skipper following the team's 150-run thrashing by Australia at Lord's.

It was on the team's return to Lord's a month later for the fourth and final Test against England where the NoW claimed Butt had instructed teenage left-arm quick sensation Aamer to bowl a no-ball deliberately.

The Now said the delivery was a test set by players' agent Mazher Majeed to prove he could, as he claimed, act as the middle man between members of the Pakistan team and illegal sub-continental bookmakers.

"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 inside three or four games I think any kind of captain would like that!," said Butt.

"These kinds of people (Aamer and Asif) do not let others decide their roles."

As for the Now producing video evidence of Majeed correctly predicting when Aamer's huge no-ball would indeed be bowled, Butt said: "This relates to the case and I again remind you about the code.

"Hopefully, once things settle down, I can tell what I have in my mind right now."

There were reports in the British media that when police raided Butt's London hotel room they found marked notes used in the betting scandal.

Butt though said the money, which Sky said amounted to 29,000 pounds (46,000 dollars), was made up of his tour allowances from the Pakistan Cricket Board and cash from legitimate sponsorship deals.

"People can have their opinions but I actually know where the money came from," he insisted.

Butt said his suspension had been tough, with a seemingly new dawn for cricket in Pakistan, scarred by an armed attack on Sri Lanka's team bus last year that turned the country into a no-go area for international cricket, overshadowed by the allegations.

"We were building up a very good unit and we won two Test matches -- after 15 years we beat Australia and after nine years we beat England.

"It would have been wonderful to carry on that but good times/bad times are all part of life and hopefully this thing will pass as well."

Butt said corruption was a global problem and the 26-year-old left-hander, a veteran of 33 Tests, was adamant he would play for Pakistan again.

"I know inside what I am made of, where I have come from and how I have played my cricket. The love of the game has brought me there. And that love is bigger than anything, any corrupt thing which exists.

"So I believe, inshallah (god willing), that I will be back playing for my country again."

- Julian Guyer

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#2
[center]Ice-cream parlour can prove my innocence: Salman Butt[/center]

LONDON: Former captain Salman Butt insists a London ice-cream parlour could help clear him of 'spot-fixing' allegations made as part of the corruption scandal surrounding the Pakistan cricket team.

Butt said thousands of pounds discovered in his London hotel room after a 'sting operation' conducted by Britain's News of the World (NoW) tabloid, came from daily tour allowances, bat sponsorship and the ice-cream parlour opening.

His explanation is set to form part of his defence at a make-or-break disciplinary hearing, in Doha, Qatar, next month.

Butt was suspended by the International Cricket Council (ICC) following allegations he and colleagues conspired in the bowling of deliberate no-balls during the fourth Test against England at Lord's in August.

Fast bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammed Aamer were suspended on the same allegations.

Butt had only been captain of the side for less than two months, following Shahid Afridi's resignation when he was implicated in the scandal.

He set out his case in a lengthy interview in Lahore to a 'Special Report' on British-based satellite station Sky Sports News broadcast Monday.

Sky put a figure of 29,000 pounds ($46,000) to him as the amount found in his room.

"Everybody knows the PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board) pays us daily allowances on tours and it was a long tour, so about 11,000 pounds of this money was from my daily allowances," he said.

"Being captain I have extra entertainment allowance which amounts to about 4,500 pounds from the tour -- which I had with me," the 26-year-old opening batsman added.

"The rest of the money was advanced payment for my bat stickers which I was under contract by Capital Cricket which shows on the back of my bat.

"People can have their opinions but I know where the money came from."

Pressed on whether the money was "clean", Butt added: "Of course, 100 percent.

"2,500 pounds was given to me for the opening of an ice cream parlour in Tooting (south London).

"As you guys (Sky) are from England you can go there any time to Tooting. I believe the name is Afters and the manager, the people working over there, they will tell you that I had to do the opening of the ice cream parlour along with Mohammad Aamer.

"And that's what we were paid for."

Butt insisted there was no way as a novice skipper he could have improperly influenced Aamer and Asif.

"These kind of people do not let others decide their roles," he argued.

Butt, Asif and Aamer have been suspended until the ICC hearing in Doha on January 6.

"I wish all three of us get back and play for our country which is our passion because we love cricket and we would love to get back and play for our country," Butt said.

"I know inside what I am made of, where I have come from and how I have played my cricket and believe me it has been a lot of passion throughout my life...the love of the game has brought me there. And that love is bigger than anything, any corrupt thing which exists.

"So I believe, inshallah (god willing), that I will be back playing for my country again."




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