Butt maintains his innocence over hotel room cash

Nov 30, -0001
KARACHI: Salman Butt, one of the three suspended Pakistan players who are under investigation by the International Cricket Council over spot-fixing claims, has spoken for the first time about the money that was found by police searching his possessions.

The search was made after newspaper allegations that Pakistan players had been paid to deliberately bowl no-balls in a Test against England at Lord's in August.

Butt, who was then the Pakistan captain, has consistently denied any wrongdoing after the News of the World accused him and the bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir of accepting money via a middleman in return for supplying illegal deliveries at predetermined points in the game.

Detectives confiscated mobile phones and personal possessions after interviewing the players. Large sums of money were reportedly recovered from the rooms of Butt and Amir. Butt has rejected claims of a link between the banknotes found in his possession and the £150,000 that was handed over by undercover reporters as payment for the no-balls. He said the money was given to him by the Pakistan Cricket Board.

He said: "I think everybody knows the PCB pays us daily allowances on tours and it was a long tour so about £11,000 of that money was from my daily allowances and, being captain, I have an extra entertainment allowance which amounts to about £4,500 on the tour, which I had with me."

Butt is suspended indefinitely while the ICC's anti-corruption unit looks into the fixing claims, a situation that is likely to be prolonged by the criminal investigation that is being carried out by the Crown Prosecution Service.

The 26-year-old is not willing to countenance the end of his international career.

"I certainly would not like to think like that. I will still remain positive and hopeful," Butt said, in an interview with Sky for a special report on the Pakistan cricket crisis, which is to be broadcast tonight at 7.30pm on Sky Sports News. "I know inside what I am made of, where I have come from and how I have played my cricket and believe me it has been a lot of passion all throughout my life. The love of the game has brought me here and that love is bigger than any corrupt thing which exists."

Since the ICC upheld the bans for Butt, Asif and Amir, their former team-mate Zulqarnain Haider has spoken of the alleged influence of bookmakers on the Pakistan team. Haider is seeking asylum in the UK after absconding from international duty. His appeal to be allowed to stay was due to have been heard by immigration officials over the weekend. Monitoring Desk




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