Salman Butt, the former Pakistan captain, admitted yesterday he failed to report Mazhar Majeed, his agent, to the International Cricket Council when Majeed first texted him raising the prospect of a spot-fix during last year's World Twenty20 Cup in the Caribbean.
As early as Pakistan's tour to Australia in 2009/10 Majeed had texted Butt saying "if there's something going on, give me a tip". Butt suggested he thought that may have been a joke in the wake of a disastrous tour by Pakistan that had raised questions back home over the direction some games had taken. In May 2010, Majeed sent Butt a series of texts ahead of a match against South Africa in St Lucia suggesting Pakistan might lose a wicket in the seventh and eighth overs of their innings.
Butt did not reply but later contacted Majeed to ask for an explanation. Giving evidence yesterday at Southwark Crown Court in the third week of his trial for spot-fixing – he and team-mate Mohammad Asif are charged with conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments and conspiracy to cheat – Butt said that Majeed had "never asked something like that before".
He said Majeed responded by saying "just checking if we are ever doing something dodgy like this or not". Under the ICC code of conduct, Butt should have reported Majeed's approach. Asked why he did not, Butt replied "I took his word".
The charges Butt and Asif face relate to the fourth Test against England at Lord's last year. Both deny them. Butt's defence deny his alleged involvement in a conspiracy between Majeed and Mohammad Amir, another Pakistan player, to bowl no balls. The case continues.