Salman Butt, the former Pakistan captain, has questioned the reliability of the News of the World sting, claiming Mazhar Majeed, an agent who handled his marketing and promotions, and features in the video, could have made exaggerated claims "to show his authority".
Butt, along with fast bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir, has been provisionally suspended by the ICC for his alleged involvement in the spot-fixing controversy. His appeal will be heard in Dubai on October 30 and 31.
"I do not want to comment on The News of the World because everybody knows what kind of paper it is," Butt told Associated Press. "Everybody knows about its reputation across the world."Butt said that Majeed "must have made lots of claims ... clearly exaggerating things to show his authority."
"I think he might have said a lot of things in that video because it was edited. So nobody knows what has gone wrong in that video."
Butt defended, however, the association he shared with Majeed before the allegations surfaced. "He (Majeed) is not somebody who is an agent for me because he has been there even before I was (playing international cricket). These are the people who deal with the marketing side of players and the promotional stuff and they also make money out of it. This is what is being done in the sporting arena around the world and this is not something that came up with Salman Butt."
At the time, Butt said, there was no relevant PCB code regarding player agents. "It is not part of PCB code (of conduct) that you have to tell them about the agents who work for the players' marketing and the promotion stuff." But in the aftermath of the controversy, the PCB issued instructions to players, stipulating that all their agents will have to approved by the board, failing which the player will be ineligible for selection.
Butt led Pakistan in the four-Test series against England and, as he has said several times now, remains confident that he will be cleared and might even return to lead the national team. "I hope the captaincy will come again some day. I cannot grab it. God gave me one chance and I hope I will get the other chance as well. I want to be remembered as a player who won games for Pakistan."