Salman Butt calls for open trial in Pakistan
Lahore: Pakistan`s banned former captain, Salman Butt today blamed his fellow teammates Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir for being trapped in the spot-fixing scandal and called for an open trial against him in his country.
Butt, who also hit out at agent Mazhar Majeed, said he would be appealing against the ICC ban in the Court of Arbitration for Sports in Switzerland.
"If you look at the case you can see there is no evidence against me. I feel there should be an open trial against me in Pakistan by the Chief Justice and I am sure I will be proven innocent," Butt told reporters here in a media interaction after being released from prison in London.
Butt pleaded that he didn`t get justice in the trial held in London last year in which Butt, Asif, Amir and Majeed were given different jail terms for corruption and cheating.
The 27-year-old, who appeared in 33 Tests and 78 One-day Internationals before the spot-fixing scandal broke out after the fourth Test at Lords on Pakistan`s tour to England in 2010, lashed out at Asif and Amir for the first time since being released.
"I made a sacrifice last year for the sake of Pakistan cricket. I didn`t want to take any names then because I expected justice. I didn`t get it even though there was no evidence against me that I ever exchanged messages with Mazhar to do spot-fixing or I told the two bowlers to deliberately bowl no-balls in the fourth Test at Lord`s.
"I didn`t tell them to deliberately bowl no-balls. They should be asked why they did it," Butt said while distributing transcripts of text messages exchanged between the 19-year old Amir and Mazhar before and during the Lords Test.
"I never told Amir to bowl a no-ball. He said he would bowl a bouncer to unsettle Jonathan Trott who was coming on the front foot in the Test at Lords. That is what happened. And he overstepped.
"But it is untrue that I told the then coach, Waqar Younis in the dressing room that I had told Amir to bowl the no-ball. I am ready to face Waqar on this," Butt said.
Butt pointed out that the ICC had also acted hastily and imposed bans without waiting for the forensic report of the mobiles confiscated from them by the police.
"The forensic report about the mobile conversations between me and Mazhar came ten months after the ICC panel banned us."
Butt said he would be appealing against the ban in CAS.
"I have already written to the CAS that I have served two years of my minimum five year ban and I want the remaining three years be overturned. But the whole appeal process costs a lot and I am not in a position to afford it at this time and I need support," Butt said.
He also claimed that the bank notes found in his room were paid to him by Mazhar for inaugurating an ice cream parlour.
"They belonged to me but I don`t know why Mazhar had marked the notes."
Butt said he was confident of getting justice in Pakistani courts and was also overwhelmed by the welcome he got after returning from London.
"The last one and half year has been a nightmare for me and my family, specially my wife, who gave birth to our child the day I was sentenced by the Crown Court. I know I can`t get back what I have lost but I have always played with honour and dignity for Pakistan as it is the highest honour for me and I want to make a comeback as a better human being and with my reputation cleared."
"I know it is a long shot that I will ever represent Pakistan again but I will try."