Spot-fixing controversy October 18, 2011

'I misjudged Majeed' - Butt

Richard Sydenham at Southwark Crown Court

Salman Butt, the ex-Pakistan Test captain accused of being involved in spot-fixing, said on the tenth day of the trial in London that he "misjudged" his former agent Mazhar Majeed, labelled corruption in cricket "terrible" and admitted to "suspicions" about Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif after the no-ball scandal was revealed.

"I didn't realise what kind of man he was," Butt told the court on his current feelings towards Majeed, as his lawyer Ali Bajwa QC neared the close of his opening defence.

"But now with the things that have come out I think I have misjudged somebody completely. I just took his word and trusted him. I knew him for a long time and never thought there would be another side to him that would be this bad."

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

Butt admitted he was suspicious of his former team-mates honesty in the Lord's Test when the News of the World published their expose. "The suspicion was there but I never wanted to believe it," was as much as Butt would say.

When Bajwa inquired as to Butt's feelings on what he was accused of, he said: "I would never do that. Cricket is my passion. Look at what I am getting accused of (£2,500 of News of the World money found in his room). I'm earning every match nearly four times that. It's a very bizarre thing.

"I have always played my cricket with passion and I try to do well, to win. Players in the sub-continent know what the difference is when we do well and when we don't do well. If we do well it's really good and we have all the luxuries available. But if we don't do well the reaction is not like people in the west know about. "

When Bajwa prompted Butt for his thoughts about corruption in cricket generally, he replied: "It's a terrible thing to do. It's not very good for the game or for the country. And it speaks of the man's character himself."

The case continues.

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