London, Oct 18: Mohammad Asif’s lawyer has accused former Pakistan cricket captain Salman Butt of ‘pressurising’ him to bowl his infamous no-ball at the Lord’s Test last year.
Butt, who was leading the side at the time, is accused alongwith Asif and Mohammad Aamir of spot-fixing.
Asif’s legal counsel, Alexander Milne, quizzed Butt for about 20 minutes on the 10 day of the trial Tuesday.
After the court was played the over in question bowled by Asif, the tenth in which a no-ball came from from the last delivery, Milne pointedly said to Butt in the witness stand: ‘You had been talking to Mr. Asif through this over and pressurising him.’
Asif had earlier said that he is ‘never pressured by anyone’.
While watching the match footage, the jury saw that England batsman Andrew Strauss had to pull away before one delivery. Milne insisted he did that because of the distracting talk between Asif and Butt, who was fielding at a very short and straight mid-off.
‘I’m not there to pressure him, just to encourage,’ Butt replied.
Milne hit back: ‘Before Mr Asif bowled his no-ball, you said to him, ‘run faster f*****, 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 meters, he’s bowling. Asif has never been about pace, he is a rhythm bowler.’
Milne continued to press on. ‘This was a man (Asif) who had been turned down twice for an appeal for a wicket in the over and you were piling on the pressure.’
Butt remain firm in his rejection. ‘There are certain terms that are part of cricket and others that are not. ‘Run faster’ is the first time I have heard it during this case.’
Butt and Asif are each facing charges of conspiracy to cheat, and conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments, following that Lord’s Test in August when they allegedly conspired with agent Mazhar Majeed, teenage fast bowler Mohammad Amir and other people unknown to bowl pre-planned no-balls. Butt and Asif deny the charges.