Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Asif turns spot-fixing trial spotlight on Butt


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LONDON: Pakistan bowler Mohammad Asif suggested from a court witness stand on Friday that his former captain and co-defendant Salman Butt had to have been involved with an alleged spot-fix to bowl no-balls during a Test match against England last year – but stopped short of a definitive accusation.

Butt and Asif are facing charges of conspiracy to cheat and conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments

At the stand for a second day, Asif was more argumentative and passionate in his exchanges with chief prosecutor Aftab Jafferjee QC than on Thursday.

Asif was being cross-examined by Jafferjee when the bowler raised the role of Butt in the suspect no-ball that Asif had bowled on the sixth ball of the 10th over. The no-ball had been predicted by Majeed after he was handed 140,000 pounds ($223,000) by an undercover journalist who was secretly recording their meeting.

Asif again denied being part of the alleged fix, but inferred that such a fix could not have been arranged without the involvement of Butt who, as captain, would be the only one to know who would be bowling at any given time. “The captain knows,” Asif said of the bowling order. “What I have told you the last two days the captain knows. He is the one who brings them on.”

Jafferjee indicated that Asif’s comments effectively meant that Butt was central to the alleged fix.

“You’re telling me it’s down to Butt aren’t you?,” Jafferjee said. Asif replied: “You can see the CD what he (Majeed) is saying.” (Agencies)


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