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Amir's new tale puts PCB in a fix.

Report Says he was forced into spot-fixing

Dubai Even as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ijaz Butt left for England yesterday to take legal action against the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), reports of Mohammad Amir's alleged confession caused fresh ripples in the country's cricketing fraternity.

Unconfirmed reports say that Amir has accused his Test skipper Salman Butt and teammate Mohammad Asif of "forcing" him into spot-fixing during the fourth Test against England at the Lord's last month.

A report in a leading Indian TV channel in India says sources in the PCB said that Amir had told chairman Butt that he never wanted to be part of this "business" (spot-fixing) but was forced into it by Butt and Asif. "Amir had gone to Butt and claimed he was innocent and a victim of the 'seniors' power lobby' in the team," a source said.

Another source revealed that Amir, regarded as one of Pakistan cricket's most promising young talent, had told manager Yawar Saeed about the pressure being exerted on him by Butt.

"Amir's claim is that he did what he was told to do. He is claiming innocence now and says he didn't even know Mazhar Majeed before Majeed was introduced to him by Butt and Asif," the source said.

Official visit

The PCB, however, denied Amir's "confession". "All three (Butt, Amir and Mohammad Asif) have been saying all along that they did not do anything wrong and they stand by it. We are waiting for Scotland Yard's report," said PCB's legal adviser Tafazzul Rizvi.

Meanwhile in Lahore, Butt said he was leaving for London on an "official trip," without giving any details. Butt and PCB legal adviser Taffazul Rizvi are expected to meet Elizabeth Robertson, the British lawyer representing Pakistan players and the PCB over the spot-fixing allegations.

Butt is also expected to meet Scotland Yard officials in a bid to expedite the case that saw Butt, Asif, Amir and Wahab Riaz interrogated.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has provisionally suspended Salman, Amir and Asif, and have asked them to reply to the suspension notices.

Pakistan's recent tour of England, where they also played Australia in a neutral venue series, was marred by the spot-fixing allegations.

The tour ended in acrimony when Butt alleged England players were paid "enormous amounts of money" to lose the third one-day international at The Oval, sparking a furious row between the two country's cricket boards.

See also Page 40

All three have been saying all along that they did not do anything wrong and they stand by it. We are waiting for Scotland Yard's report."

Tafazzul Rizvi

PCB's legal adviser

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Sep 29, 2010
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