Three Pakistani cricketers — captain Salman Butt and pacers Muhammad Aamir and Muhammad Asif — under the scanner for spot-fixing, have said before the Scotland Yard inquiry that the British currency recovered from their hotel rooms was given to them by bookie Mazhar Majeed but it was given to them on account of sponsorship contracts that they had signed with different commercial organizations, private TV reported.
The players also stated that Majeed was working as their agent to secure sponsorship deals and they did not know that he was a book-maker.
The trio appeared before the Scotland Yard inquiry in London, Friday. The investigation has started following a report in the tabloid News of the World that the players bowled deliberate no-balls in the Lord’s Test match after taking money from a book-maker.
The legal advisor of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Tafazzul Rizvi confirmed that the players had given this statement.
“They denied that this money was given to them for spot-fixing like bowling no-balls etc. The players also showed their written contracts for these sponsorship deals to the police. That is why they were allowed to go without any charge,” Rizvi pointed out.
Rizvi said he was not trying to defend the players but only giving the information he had from the investigation process.
“The players choose their agents on their own and the board has nothing to do with it,” he stressed.
Responding to reports that the players were asked to remain away from Majeed before the England tour, he said the board gave out a set of instructions to players before every tour and there was nothing specific about it this time round.
“The players have contested the allegation and also volunteered themselves for police investigations,” Rizvi said.
He rubbished the reports that captain Salman Butt had taken the money from Majeed allegedly to arrange dowry of his sister.
“He does not have to do that,” Rizvi emphatically said.
Asked whether the players would contest the allegations within a 14-day period, Rizvi said they had to decide and defend themselves.
“As per rules, the PCB can monitor the situation and a board representative can be present through this process, but the players will have to challenge it on their own,” he said.