We`ve been declared guilty without any evidence: Butt
Karachi: Pakistan`s suspended Test captain Salman Butt is furious with not just the ICC but also the PCB for the way the spot-fixing case against him and the pace duo of Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer is being handled as he feels they have been "declared guilty without any evidence".
Butt went on air on several television channels shortly after returning from Dubai after attending the ICC appeal`s tribunal hearing which rejected his appeal and that of his teammate, Muhammad Aamer against their suspensions.
"I have no choice now but to now plead my case like this. Initially we didn`t say anything because we didn`t have any direct interaction with the ICC and the Pakistan Cricket Board was handling things on our behalf. Also we were bound by the code of conduct we had signed with the Pakistan board. But now after having seen from close range the way the ICC is handling our cases, I am disappointed," he said.
Butt said he was a bit disappointed by the attitude of the PCB.
"I don`t know why they are doing this but no one from the PCB has even bothered to give us a call or find out what is happening with us. We have no choice but to now plead our cases ourselves and let the people know what we feel is happening," he said.
Butt said he was surprised at the tribunal decision because the ICC`s anti-corruption unit had shown no other evidence except for the video and reports of a British tabloid.
"They have shown us no evidence at all and yet they rejected our appeals without giving any reason why they were doing it. I can only say this is a biased decision and they are trying to corner us and Pakistan cricket," he said.
Butt said he got a feeling there was a conspiracy against Pakistan cricket.
"You can see what is happening with Pakistanis the world over now. It is the same in our case. It is strange that someone is supposed to be considered innocent unless proven guilty. But in our case we have been declared guilty without any evidence and are now being told to prove ourselves innocent," he said.
"If anyone or someone has anything to show we were indeed involvement in corruption they should bring it forth."
Butt stated that he was angry that the ICC had not removed the suspensions although there was no evidence produced at the hearing.
"Basically they have stopped us from playing in our prime and stopped us from earning our livelihood and this is unacceptable to us," said.
"I can only feel this is a move to defame Pakistan cricket."
The left-handed opener said he had decided to speak up now because he wanted the people to know what was happening.
"Basically now it is not an issue of just three players but of Pakistan which is being defamed through us. The government should also look into."
Asked about the players` links with alleged bookie Mazhar Majeed, Butt said, "Majeed was a well known agent not only for us but for other players as well and he also owned a football club. He brought us sponsorship and endorsement deals. We were friends with him. I don`t know why he has made these allegations."
"Hundreds of our fans come to meet with us and get our photographs or autographs taken that does not mean we know them," he added.