Butt pressurised my client to bowl no-ball: Asif's lawyer

Published: Thursday, October 20, 2011, 11:21 [IST]
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Butt pressurised Asif to bowl no-ball

The lawyer of Pakistani cricketer Mohammed Asif has accused former captain Salman Butt of "pressurising" his client to bowl no-ball at the infamous Lord's Test last year.

Asif's legal counsel, Alexander Milne QC, quizzed Butt for about 20 minutes on the 10th day of the trial at Southwark Crown Court on Tuesday.

After the court played the over in question bowled by Asif, the tenth over in which a no-ball came from the last ball of it, Milne pointedly said to Butt in the witness stand: "You had been talking to Mr. Asif through this over and pressurising him," ESPNCricinfo reported.

The court has previously heard Asif say in a police transcript from an interview a year ago that he has "never been pressured by anyone".

The jury had seen during the footage that England batsman Andrew Strauss had to pull away before one delivery and Milne suggested he did that because of the distracting talk between Asif and Butt, who was fielding at a very short and straight mid-off, next to the middle of the pitch.

"I'm not there to pressure him, just to encourage," Butt replied to Milne's suggestion.

Milne hit back: "Before Mr. Asif bowled his no-ball, you said to him, 'run faster, you are running too slow'"

Butt denied that such a conversation had taken place.

"If you have played cricket in any part of your life you would know that these things are never said. It is no term. There's no suggestion in cricket as 'run faster' He is not running the 100 metres, he's bowling. Asif has never been about pace, he is a rhythm bowler."

Earlier on Monday, Butt told the court that he had ignored requests by his agent to fix cricket matches against England. Butt said he had not fulfilled his duty to inform the authorities of an alleged corrupt approach by agent Mazhar Majeed.

But he insisted that he had rejected the agent's suggestions to deliberately lose wickets at last year's T20 World Cup and score no runs in an over in a Test against England.

"Never in my life have I intended to do anything like that, play a match in a certain way. I always do what is required to the best of my ability," he said.


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