Spot-fixing controversy October 17, 2011

Salman Butt reveals earnings of a million

Richard Sydenham at Southwark Crown Court

Salman Butt revealed to a court that he has earned approximately £1.2 million since playing for Pakistan for the first time in 2003, as he took the witness stand for the first time on the ninth day of the alleged spot-fixing trial in London.

Butt started giving evidence at about 11.30am and will continue after lunch. His lawyer Ali Bajwa QC first addressed the jury and pointed out to them that they may have heard many stories involving his client but he reminded them that they are only giving a verdict on the Lord's Test in 2010 and deciding whether he was party to the bowling of three alleged pre-determined no-balls.

Butt and his former team-mate Mohammad Asif are facing charges of conspiracy to cheat, and conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments, following that Lord's Test in August last year when they allegedly conspired with Majeed, teenage fast bowler Amir and other people unknown to bowl pre-planned no-balls. Butt and Asif deny the charges.

Bajwa has so far taken the jury through his career and chronicled how he began playing cricket and how he has developed over the years into an established international cricketer. He also gave much background on Butt's upbringing and also about Butt's finances, including his banking information and income.

After outlining all the various ways in which Butt earns his income, Bajwa asked the former opening batsman "how much do you think you have earned from cricket from the period 2007 to 2010?", to which Butt responded: "Somewhere between £700,000 and £850,000" and adding when asked about his entire career earnings, "over the seven years in the Pakistan it has to go beyond £1.2 million."

The court heard a forensic breakdown of the player's earnings. For the 2007-08 season, for example, he earned £169,345 from the Pakistan Cricket Board. That money comprised £14,000 as a basic retainer, a loyalty bonus of £22,000 for not playing in the Indian Cricket League, a share of match fees and prize monies and £11,000 from a PCB sponsorship deal with Mobilink and £9,000 from a PCB deal with Pepsi.

Bajwa then also asked Butt if this was the end of his earnings for that year to which Butt answered "no" and went on to explain that he also earns about £400 a month from his domestic team in Pakistan, plus the $150,000 deal he had with the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League, plus other endorsements.

In 2008-09 he earned £203,852 from the PCB and £125,281 from the PCB in 2009-10 because Pakistan played little cricket in the year prior and it was also the time when Pakistan was counting the costs financially from the Lahore terrorist attack.

The courts also heard how Butt took on the role of his family's breadwinner from the age of 16 when his father, who worked for Lufthansa Airlines and later became a businessman, separated from his mother. He supported his mother and two sisters, and later his wife and child also. Butt told of how he funded the education of his two sisters from his earnings in cricket and will pay for their weddings as both are engaged.

In a further way to illustrate Butt's wealth to the court, the jury was told that he was looking to buy a special edition Breitling watch that he thought would cost "around £7,000 to £8,000".

Butt spoke confidently and did not ever require the services of the Urdu interpreter standing by his side throughout the questioning. The court had learned earlier that he had attended an English speaking school in Lahore.

The case continues.

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