LAHORE: Pakistan cricket chief Zaka Ashraf Saturday rejected spot-fixing convict Salman Butt’s claims of innocence, saying the former captain was just expressing his personal views.
The 27-year-old ex-Pakistan captain, found guilty in a spot-fixing scandal that rocked the sport, Friday called for an open trial in his home country, saying justice was not done in the case leading to his ban and jail time.
“Whatever denial Butt is giving now, it is his personal view,” Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ashraf said at Lahore airport after returning from the International Cricket Council annual conference in Kuala Lumpur.
“Butt was convicted in a UK court so the matter was related to the UK.”
The cricketer was found guilty by both the game’s governing body and a British court of receiving money in return for orchestrating deliberate no-balls during the Lord’s Test against England in 2010.
The bowlers Mohammed Amir and Mohammad Asif were also charged relating to deliberate no-balls they bowled but that were allegedly contrived by Butt in association with agent Mazhar Majeed, also sentenced to 32 months in jail.
The deal was organised by Majeed and an undercover reporter for the now defunct News of the World, in a sting operation which exposed corruption in international cricket.
“If the chief justice of Pakistan’s Supreme Court decides to take up the matter it is up to him, but the PCB has no link and no role in all this,” said Ashraf, who took over in October, a month before the players were sentenced.
Butt was the last of the three players released from prison last week after serving less than a quarter of his 30-month sentence.
All three players were banned for a minimum of five years by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
The trio has a right to appeal against the ICC ruling, and while Amir, who pleaded guilty during the trial, has decided not to appeal, Butt and Asif have hinted they may challenge the bans.