Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt claims he never asked pacers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir to bowl deliberate no balls for cash but admitted to getting endorsement deals through his agent and alleged bookie Mazhar Majeed.
Butt made these claims in a police interview which was played to the jury hearing the spot-fixing trial here.
“There’s no way I could tell Amir or Asif (to cheat). They are the two players that most teams would want to have. When we pick our team those are the first two names that we have to write,” Butt said in a police interview played to the court, ‘ESPN Cricinfo’ reported.
The jury at Southwark Crown Court heard Butt claiming that the no balls during the Lord’s Test against England were “a freak occurrence” and not bowled deliberately, something that came to light after the now-defunct ‘News of the World’s’ sting operation on Majeed.
“I don’t think anybody could influence me to cheat my country. I play this game for the love of the game and for the love of my country,” Butt said.
“I have played at all levels for Pakistan and in ten years of playing for Pakistan I have never had any charge against me. This is the first time I have had a charge (against me),” he added.
However, Butt did admit getting endorsement deals through Majeed.
“He brought me things like the Adidas contract which was a big thing to me as no other Pakistani had that,” he said.