Spot-fixing controversy October 11, 2011

Pakistan players wanted Afridi out - court hears

Richard Sydenham at Southwark Crown Court

Members of Pakistan's team cooked up plans to underperform in an effort to remove former Twenty20 and one-day captain Shahid Afridi from his position, a court heard on Tuesday.

During day five of the alleged spot-fixing trial of former Pakistan Test captain Salman Butt and fast bowler Mohammad Asif at Southwark Crown Court on Tuesday, a jury heard recordings of how Pakistan players wanted Butt to be their captain in all formats of the game.

The comments were made by the agent at the centre of the allegations Mazhar Majeed. Secret recordings from a covert sting operation by an undercover journalist were being played to the court when the comments of the anti-Afridi plan were heard.

"There's a thing going on with the players," Majeed was heard to say. "A lot of the boys want to f*** up Afridi because he is trying to f*** up things for them and he's the captain of the Twenty20 and one-day (side). They all want Butt to be captain."

Majeed explained that Butt and wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal would "waste two or three overs" to slow Pakistan's run rate.

The jury has already learned of how Majeed didn't want to fix Test matches for Pakistan to lose because he wanted Butt to be successful so that he would stay in his position. The court was also told on Monday of plans to lose a match in either the Twenty20 or 50-over series in England, matches that followed the Test matches last year.

The case continues.