KARACHI: Suspended Pakistan batsman Salman Butt Saturday vowed to prove his innocence over allegations of spot-fixing on the recent tour of England.
The 26-year-old was suspended along with bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir after they were charged with offences under the anti-corruption code of conduct last month.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) suspended them following revelations by British tabloid The News of the World and subsequent investigations by police into allegations of spot-fixing during the Lord’s Test against England in August.
The trio appealed against the suspension earlier this month and an ICC code of conduct commission was due to hear their appeals on October 30 and 31 in Doha, Qatar, but the hearing was moved to Dubai after Asif withdrew his appeal.
Butt pleaded innocence in the case. “We are innocent and have to fight our case on our own,” Salman told a private television channel.
“The first and the foremost thing is to fight this case out and I am eager to do that.”
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) reportedly withdrew support for the players and directed them to fight the case on their own.
Earlier this week the PCB also barred the trio from using practice facilities at the national cricket academy while their case was ongoing.
Butt said it was for the accuser to prove the case. “The onus is on them to prove. A player’s career is of 10 to 15 years and if he is suspended it is cut short, so whatever doubts are there we have to remove them,” said Butt, who refused to comment directly on the allegations.
He said he did not know why Asif had withdrawn his appeal. “It may be strategic or maybe because of financial reasons, but he must have taken this decision after consulting with his lawyer,” said Butt of Asif, who hired British lawyer Elizabeth Robertson.
Butt has hired former federal law minister Khalid Ranja as his lawyer and will proceed to Dubai with him next week.
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