Saturday, 15 October 2011

Salman Butt calls Majeed's accurate no-ball predictions "freak occurrence"

Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt has described alleged bookmaker Mazhar Majeed's accurate predictions of the three no-balls bowled during a Test match against England last year as "a freak occurrence".

Butt made the claim in a police interview played at London's Southwark Crown Court, which has been hearing the spot-fixing case, the BBC reports.

He had been asked how his agent was able to accurately predict the delivery of no-balls in footage secretly recorded by an undercover journalist.

Prosecutors allege that agent Majeed conspired with Butt and bowler Mohammad Asif, 28, to fix parts of the Lord's match last summer- a charge that both Butt and Asif deny.

The court heard a transcript of a police interview conducted with Butt last September, shortly after the spot-fixing allegations emerged in the now closed-down British tabloid, News of the World (NoTW), in which the former Pakistan captain responded to the suggestion that the predictions made by his agent Majeed were improbable.

"It's a freak occurrence," Butt told police.

When asked if he had been bribed, the former Pakistan skipper said that nobody could influence him to fix any part of a game.

"I play this game for the love of the game and the love of my country," he said.

In February, British prosecutors had "authorised charges of conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments, and also conspiracy to cheat" against the tainted Pakistani trio- Butt, Mohammad Amir and Asif- implicated in the spot-fixing scandal as well as Majeed. ANI

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