Pakistan’s former Test captain found himself accused of spot-fixing only after a former agent and friend “grossly abused” his trust, a court heard on Monday.
Salman Butt was named by his agent Mazhar Majeed as one of several players allegedly involved in a spot-fixing scam during last year's tour of England.
However, Ali Bajwa, defending the cricketer, said: “We say Salman Butt only finds himself here on trial accused of these charges because of the words of his former friend and agent, Mazhar Majeed.
Prosecutors allege that Majeed conspired with Butt and fast bowlers Mohammad Amir, and Mohammad Asif to deliver three deliberate no-balls during last August’s Lord’s Test between Pakistan and England.
Bajwa said Butt told police in interview that the fact that the no-balls were bowled exactly when Majeed said they would be was a “freakish coincidence,” the Press Association reported.
He told the court: “That is not, and has never been, part of Mr Butt’s defence.
Butt and Asif, who are standing trial, deny conspiracy to cheat and conspiracy to accept corrupt payments. Bajwa told the jury: “I anticipate that everyone in this case will agree that there was at the very least a criminal conspiracy between Mazhar Majeed and Mohammad Amir...”
Explaining why police found nine sim cards in his hotel room after the scandal broke, Butt said it was cheaper to buy local phone cards when he toured. Butt also said he brought about $12,000 in cash with him to England last year to buy a special edition-watch costing around £8,000.