Salman never pressurised me to bowl no-balls: Asif

October 14th, 2011 - 10:09 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Oct 14 (IANS) Pakistan fast bowler Mohammed Asif, who is being tried for the spot-fixing scandal, Friday said his former captain Salman Butt had never pressurised him to bowl no-balls or to cheat in any other way, the court heard.

The jury heard a transcript of an initial police interview with Asif in September last year, shortly after the now defunct The News of the World’s undercover investigation of corruption by the Pakistan cricketers and Majeed became public, espncricinfo reported.

The transcript was read out in role play format between policeman at the time Detective Constable John Massey and Sarah Whitehouse for the prosecution, on the eighth day of the trial at Southwark Crown Court.

Asif, who arrived two hours late, was not present at the time.

When the court heard how Asif was questioned on whether he was protecting Butt, he replied: “No…I’m going to protect myself. How can I protect Salman Butt. Even in the game and in my life I am going to protect myself.”

When police probed further and asked Asif if he was being put under any pressure by Butt not to tell the truth, Asif was firm in his response.

“No pressure, how can he put pressure on me? How can he pressurise me? Nobody can pressurise me as I have played in the (Pakistan) team for a long time.”

Both Butt and Asif are facing charges of conspiracy to cheat, and conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments, after allegedly conspiring with their agent Mazhar Majeed, and fast-bowler Aamir to agree to bowl pre-determined no-balls. Butt and Asif deny the charges.

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