Mohammad Amir blames Salman Butt for spot-fixing saga
Last updated on .From the section Cricket
Former Pakistan bowler Mohammad Amir has blamed ex-captain Salman Butt for the spot-fixing scandal that led to both being jailed.
Amir was released in February having served half of his six-month sentence.
Butt, bowler Mohammad Asif and agent Mazhar Majeed remain in prison for plotting no-balls in England in 2010.
"I am so angry with Salman," said Amir, 19. "He took advantage of our friendship. He should have helped me instead of involving me in all this."
Amir, who was banned from all cricket for five years in February 2011, said: "When I first met Salman Butt, [who is eight years older than Amir] he was a senior player and a star for Pakistan.
"He had a very good image among the junior players. It wasn't that he was only nice to me. He was close to all the juniors, cracking jokes and socialising with them. He was educated and well behaved and I thought he was a nice man.
"He told me that he had mentioned my name to someone and told them I was a nice boy and a very good bowler. He treated me like an elder brother treats his younger brother."
The teenager also revealed that he and Butt, 27, had met a man in Dubai known only as Ali, who he described as "Salman's friend".
Amir and Ali exchanged text messages. Amir added: "He asked for my number because he was often in Pakistan. He rang me once or twice over there and we met up.
"In England he called while I was at Edgbaston and asked for my UK mobile number - which I gave him because he was Salman's friend.
"He asked about bank account details. I asked 'Why?'. He said: 'Give me them and I'll tell you later what it's for'.
"I was sat waiting for someone and was bored, I was curious and asked what he wanted from me. I had to find out.
"Twice he asked if Salman had had a word with me and then for my bank account details. I was trying to figure things out. That's why I had sent those texts."
Asked if he had received money from Ali, Amir said: "No, never. I was stupid, I should have told someone what was happening to me. I never thought about that kind of thing and I didn't take any of it seriously."
On the day before the Lord's Test in August 2010, when the Pakistan trio and Majeed conspired to bowl the no-balls, Amir said he was contacted at the team hotel by Majeed, who had also previously been introduced to him by Butt.
Amir said: "I was in the hotel when I got a call from Majeed saying I should go to the car park because he wanted to talk to me about something very important. When I got into the lift I bumped into Salman.
"I got in the car [with Majeed and Butt], all of a sudden, it was like someone had launched an attack. Suddenly he [Majeed] said: 'Oh bro, you've got yourself in big trouble, you're trapped and your career is at stake'.
"I said: 'Bro what's happened?'
"He told me my calls and texts with Ali had been recorded and reached the ICC."
Majeed then told Amir that he could keep his name out of the investigation if he did him "a favour" in return.
Amir explained: "I said: 'What favour?'
"He replied: 'Do two no balls for me'.
"I'd like to say how stupid I was. I was churning inside, cursing myself. I knew that it was cheating cricket, that it was out of order and that it shouldn't happen. It was a really horrible feeling.
"I was distressed, in a state of panic, uncertain as to what was going to happen to me.
"Salman came to me and all he said was: 'You remember don't you?'
"It's not right, but I bowled the no-ball. No matter how it happened and how I was manipulated to make this mistake I can only apologise.
"What else can I do apart from say sorry? I'd also like to say a word of warning, you must inform the authorities.
"Today it's me, tomorrow someone else could get stuck in a mess like this.
"They don't trap you by putting a gun to your head, they befriend you. They eventually succeed in trapping you.
"I ask everyone to forgive me. Thanks to Allah I have taught myself to distinguish between right and wrong. I have never done anything wrong. I was manipulated."