Butt denies controlling 'impressionable' Amir

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The Independent Online

Salman Butt, the former Pakistan captain, rejected suggestions yesterday that he had "controlled" Mohammad Amir, the "most impressionable player" in his side and helped ensure he delivered deliberate no-balls in the Test against England at Lord's last summer.

Butt said that Amir, then 18, was neither impressionable nor weak as he faced a third day of questioning during his trial for spot-fixing at Southwark Crown Court yesterday. Butt gave evidence for more than 13 hours during which he repeatedly denied any involvement in or knowledge of a conspiracy to spot-fix during the Lord's Test with Amir, Mohammad Asif and their agent Mazhar Majeed in return for cash. Butt and Asif are charged with conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments and conspiracy to cheat. Both deny the charges.

It was suggested to Butt by Aftab Jafferjee, QC for the prosecution, after he outlined a string of phone calls and texts between Majeed, Butt, Asif and Amir in the build up to the Lord's Test, that Amir was "in on the fix". Butt replied: "Yes." Mr Jafferjee then said to Butt that he "controlled the youngest and most impressionable player in your side". Butt replied: "No." Butt had earlier told the court that he "had his suspicions" over Amir's actions at Lord's.

The court also heard yesterday that there are no criminal proceedings against other Pakistan players, Wahab Riaz, Kamran Akmal, Umar Akmal or Imran Farhat, who have been named in the trial as involved with Majeed.