Cricket: Amir says 'brother' Butt lured him into fixing

Published: March 20, 2012
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Fast-bowler says captain set him up in fixing scam. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Fast-bowler says captain set him up in fixing scam. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

LONDON: Disgraced Pakistan cricketer Mohammad Amir said Monday that former captain Salman Butt had betrayed their friendship by involving him in the spot-fixing scandal that has seen him banned from cricket and serve time in a British prison.

The highly-rated 19-year-old was released from jail last month after serving half of a six-month sentence for his part in the scandal during the Lord’s Test between England and Pakistan in 2010.

His former teammates Butt and Mohammad Asif are serving sentences of 30 and 12 months respectively, handed down by a British court in November, after the trio were found guilty of corruption and receiving illegal money.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) also banned all three players, with Amir receiving the minimum five-year punishment after he was found guilty of deliberately bowling no-balls as part of a plan orchestrated by Butt.

“I’m so angry with Salman,” said Amir in an interview with former England captain Mike Atherton broadcast on Sky Sports on Monday.

“He used to call me ‘innocent one’. Like how an elder brother would speak to a younger one,” he added in comments translated by Sky into English from Urdu. “He should have helped me instead of involving me in all this.”

However, Amir conceded that what he had done was dishonest. “I knew it was unfair to cricket, because it is cheating. No matter how small the dishonest deed is, at the end of the day cheating is cheating.”

“Whether it’s a no-ball, or match fixing. No matter what it is, and whether it’s the tiniest of the tiny, it’s still cheating.”

Amir continued that even though he was feeling crushed inside, he continued because he had been in a state of panick “I was worried that if I didn’t do it, then it might create a problem for me.”

He clarified “What I am really trying to say is that I was very confused; I couldn’t think straight. I panicked.”

I should have told someone about fixing advances

Amir said that he felt stupid for not having told someone on fixing advances. “had I taken it seriously then perhaps I would have gone and told the management ‘that these guys want to do this with me. What are they doing to me?”

“And I was lost in that world, nor had I ever considered this thing to be serious. Nor was it anywhere in my mind that I would do something like this, or that it was a good thing for me. I had never thought about this kind of thing,” lamented Amir.

“I didn’t take any of it seriously; I thought it was a load of nonsense This led to my downfall,” the young pacer recounted.

Entrapment

Amir then recounted the events that led up to him being asked to bowl the specific no-balls.

Following is a transcript from Amir’s interview by Sky Sports as appearing on The Telegraph:

“All of a sudden it was as if someone had launched an attack. Suddenly he said ‘oh bro, you’ve got yourself in big trouble, you’re trapped, and your career is at stake.’

I said “Bro, what’s happened?” He told me that my calls and texts with Ali had been recorded and had reached the ICC.

I said ‘what?’ He said that he had received a phone call from a friend of his saying that my name was involved. I said, “but I have not done anything for him.”

He said “nevertheless you’re trapped; your name’s being mentioned, and the case is now open.”

I said, “What now?” And he said “he’s my friend and you’re lucky that he’s the one who is in charge of this case.”

He said that he told him, “bro, put an end to this case, shut this file. Whatever you need me to do, I’ll do it. Whatever needs to be done, I’ll do it. I’ll do anything.

But Amir’s name should not be mentioned”. I said, “And then?” That’s when he said “can you do me a favour?”

I asked him what favour? He replied ‘do 2 no balls for me.’

I said ‘what?!’ And here there’s something crucial that I’d like to say at this point: I’d like to say how stupid I was.

I mean on the one hand he was telling me that a report about me had gone to the ICC, and on the other that he wanted me to do 2 no balls for him.

My next question should have been to him “bro, on the one hand you’ve just told me that a report about me is on its way to the ICC, and then at the same time you’re asking me for 2 no balls?’

I panicked so much that I didn’t even think to ask him that… what are you doing?!

On one hand he had spoken about the whole ICC intelligence investigation, and on the other hand he was asking me to deliver no balls.

I was panicking so much it didn’t even occur to me how ridiculous it was.

I said in any case, I don’t do this kind of thing, nor do I know how to go about it.

I don’t know how to bowl no balls. My front foot is always behind the line. I very rarely delivered no balls throughout my entire career.

He said ‘no, no, just go to the ground and practise.’

He told me that Salman would help me and that he was with me. It was precisely at this very moment that Salman turned up and sat behind us.

And he didn’t say anything. All he did was to rest his elbows like that on both the seats and listened.

He didn’t utter a word. The only thing that he said was to bowl 2 no-balls. I can’t remember now whether it was then or later when he told me which ones they were to be.

I left the car. Then Salman remained sitting where he was. To begin with I thought,’ oh dear’. I panicked and went and sat in the bus worrying.”

The full transcript of Amir’s interview can be viewed here.

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Reader Comments (36)

  • Mar 20, 2012 - 1:48AM

    If he is so corrupt at sucha young age, he’s gonna be double of * samaj tu app gayein hongay* when he reaches 35. Plus that interview was more of a damage control than redemption

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  • Mar 20, 2012 - 2:05AM

    so finally Aamer has spoken, seems truth to me. Aamir should be given another chance !

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  • Awais Ch
    Mar 20, 2012 - 2:12AM

    Hard luck man!!!

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  • Uzair Javaid
    Mar 20, 2012 - 2:17AM

    You’re too old now to be that an infant to get carried away. ICC or any justice system in the world would have appreciated Amir turning up before the ICC or Pakistan team officials and revealed the plan. He dint do it nor did he seem any embarrassed after he had done his part on the field during play! its just regret and blame time now!

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  • Faraz
    Mar 20, 2012 - 2:18AM

    This Butt whenever he comes back to Pakistan must be put in prison for the rest of his life. Recommend

  • Ch Allah Daad
    Mar 20, 2012 - 2:25AM

    Thank you very much. We accept your apology and also forgive what you did but please don’t ever think to represent us again. You have enough money, spend it for some good cause.

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  • Mirza
    Mar 20, 2012 - 2:38AM

    This innocent little kid is still not taking about taking money and doing it just for money. Even a little kid knows doing wrong thing for money is wrong. This is no apology it is justification. The nation can be nive but the world wants complete unconditional apology without excuses. He had a very short term in jail, should have been much more.

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  • Baat ki gehrai
    Mar 20, 2012 - 2:44AM

    Read the full transcript. Its very interesting.

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  • Mar 20, 2012 - 3:07AM

    @The Only Normal Person Here.:
    we are humans not angels, everybody learn by their mistakes, God forbid if u had done anything wrong and u regret for what u did, would u expect a same comment that u just have made? let him support to continue his journey

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  • wahab khan afridi
    Mar 20, 2012 - 3:17AM

    he and the rest shud be now given prison in pakistan as well oh i m sorry i forgotten that corruption, cheating and illegal earning money is allowed. our prime minister and president the biggest world corrupt leaders on earth. how can they point out on amir if they did he shud answer them why do our leaders do it ? i wish i can hear this good news from amirs mouth

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  • Faraz
    Mar 20, 2012 - 3:23AM

    I did not know his version of the story….knowing this now ICC needs to let him go. But this Butt should extend his stay in the British prison for good otherwise whenever he comes back he shall be stoned.

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  • vasan
    Mar 20, 2012 - 7:06AM

    Lies,lies and more lies, First he claimed he didnt do it, Now he confesses. What more to come.

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  • Basit Khan
    Mar 20, 2012 - 7:46AM

    Read the full transcript, especially his text messages exchanges with that guy Ali,‘yes; yes what; for how much; but what needs to be done; it would be too much friend; so in the first 3 bowl whatever you like and in the last 2 do 8 runs‘. He asks Ali, “how much ?”. He then says,’that’s difficult”. So he is contemplating doing it for the money, setting things up on his own without that devil Salman Butt. Precisely the reason the ICC didn’t believe in his innocence crap. Now he can blame anyone he wants but he was ‘IN’ for sure.

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  • Mar 20, 2012 - 9:56AM

    Guyz relax… he is just 19. Don’t blame him like he is 30.
    he is admitting his mistake and bearing the punishment.

    We would like to see him back on the pitch crushing other teams.

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  • Mar 20, 2012 - 10:10AM

    Next time, listen to your head.. not Butt.

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  • Noon Ghunna
    Mar 20, 2012 - 10:21AM

    This interview to Sky TV should not be considered as true account of the story. Amir is saying everything tought by his Love-Lawyer.
    Rhetorics like “for the country”, “money was not the intention”, “i was panicked” blah blah are used incessantly to create soft corner for general public. The truth is he was over the moon after the T20 & England Tour and he was in a state of mind that everything went his way and hence bowled the no balls with an intension that it would not change the state of the game and as a by-product he would get hefty amount of money. End of story.

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  • Mar 20, 2012 - 10:54AM

    He’s a liar. At first, he was insisting on his innocence and now he pleads guilty. He should be ashamed of his crime and lying to the nation. PCB should permanently ban him from playing for Pakistan.

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  • Always Learning
    Mar 20, 2012 - 12:06PM

    He still doesn’t accept responsibility. He will do it again.

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  • Furqan
    Mar 20, 2012 - 12:10PM

    @vasan:
    He already confessed earlier my friend i think you should review the history of the case first.

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  • THE
    Mar 20, 2012 - 12:14PM

    I recommend that people read the whole interview before making a comment here or forming an opinion. That’s all that matters, the truth is sometimes very plain and simple but all we can form are opinions.

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  • fawad iqbal
    Mar 20, 2012 - 1:56PM

    He played with nations trust once and he will do it again , he was 18 years old not a kid . and there is lots of talent out there in pakistan , getting em back in the team would be a bad anyhow , we ll forget out it but not the rest of the world after wat he did out there …

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  • Yousaf Ali
    Mar 20, 2012 - 2:32PM

    @Danish Mughal: I agree.

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  • National Observer
    Mar 20, 2012 - 3:42PM

    Being told to ball a No ball intentionally should have raised a eye brow at that time…!
    If the text message was sent without any bad intention then why he felt black mailed for doing a wrong thing.
    Mr. Amir, please don’t come up with these childish stories, you think that you are a kid because you have served time in young prison but we (Pakistanis) are not.

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  • Abid
    Mar 20, 2012 - 5:40PM

    I dont think that its complete truth…..

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  • Asif
    Mar 20, 2012 - 7:00PM

    Like others I am wondering if some of the people commenting have actually bothered to see the interview or read the transcript?
    Young people make mistakes, as intelligent human beings we should be able to understand and forgive especially when you read the circumstances behind his actions.
    As Pakistani cricket fans we are being denied the chance to watch one of the best talents we are ever likely to produce!

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  • zia virk
    Mar 20, 2012 - 8:28PM

    my eye-brows raised when i came to “what now?” and questioned myself why he came straight to “what now?” so easily when he was told about some case had opened against him in ICC if he hadn’t did anything wrong and he could defend himself at that time more easily being not at wrong. he is clean now as he has been punished for his wrongs. he should be allowed to rejoin his career.

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  • Kanwal
    Mar 21, 2012 - 12:29AM

    I dont think we have any talent shortage. Why take you back again? Once you fooled the lot of us. Twice? No way.

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  • Atif
    Mar 21, 2012 - 1:28AM

    What a waste of good bowler who has potential to become great bowler!!

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  • Ali Mardan
    Mar 21, 2012 - 2:47AM

    There must be no place all those players involved in corruption. A life time ban must be imposed on him, making him a model for other crickerters.

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  • Faheem
    Mar 21, 2012 - 9:05AM

    They are criminals because they got caught. We all are criminals, each of us commit break law everyday…we are all hypocrites.

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  • Umer
    Mar 21, 2012 - 11:01AM

    So brother ‘Butt’ actually gave it to him in his namesake?

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  • mk
    Mar 21, 2012 - 1:21PM

    @jingoist:

    19is no thumb sucking baby.You have to bear responsibility for what you do at this age.If he such a baby than he sould not be allowed to represent the Country…

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  • dpd
    Mar 22, 2012 - 8:02PM

    Imagine a beggar child stealing a loaf of bread in Karachi. Imagine him being caught. Imagine what happens to him and where he ends up. A poor child, stealing a loaf of bread to fill his stomach and the sentence provided by the public and the authorities???? Now compare that to Amirs’s or Salmans situation!!!!

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  • ijazmir
    Mar 23, 2012 - 11:54AM

    Who is not corrupt in our land of pure,It is part of our culture. You are also guilty when you pay the bribe, to a police man,Clark in the office to move your file fast,power theft,water theft. there is no end to the list.
    Amir has done and he is punished for the crime, now leave him alone he is repenting. There are people stolen people’s money and kept in Switzerland they are caught red handed but they will not bring the money back because they are above the law.
    Let the guy play the love of his life.

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  • hassan
    Mar 24, 2012 - 9:59AM

    What are the symptoms of ‘victimhood’ complex ?

    Commit a crime, either for financial gain or for women or for real estate. Do it again and again.
    When caught, justify it giving some wild excuses and then ask for your supporters to rally around you. They will, provided you belong to the same religion, or the same faction. Or the same school of theories. (If you can make them commit the same crime, then, your own crime will pale into insignificance.)
    Never express regret. That would mean you have done something wrong.
    Finally, thrown down your trump card. ‘He made me do it !’ (Also known as Root Cause Theory – cited often these days by the great Im The Dim )
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  • Abdul Qayyum Bhatti
    Mar 24, 2012 - 6:43PM

    He had served the punishment for his part of evil. Now, Amir should be given a second chance to represent Pakistan in International Cricket.

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