Amir accuses captain and agent of entrapment

LONDON Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:24am IST

Pakistan cricketer Mohammad Amir (R) is approached by a reporter as he leaves Southwark Crown court in London November 2, 2011. REUTERS/Philip Brown/Files

Pakistan cricketer Mohammad Amir (R) is approached by a reporter as he leaves Southwark Crown court in London November 2, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Philip Brown/Files

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LONDON (Reuters) - Banned Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Amir has accused former captain Salman Butt and agent Mazhar Majeed of tricking him into bowling deliberate no-balls in the 2010 Lord's test against England.

Amir, 19, returned home last month after serving three months in a young offenders institution in Britain for his involvement in the spot-fixing scandal. Butt, Majeed and pace bowler Mohammad Asif are still serving prison terms.

In an interview with Sky Sports screened on Monday, Amir, who has been banned from all cricket for five years, said he had sent his bank details to a businessman identified only as Ali during the 2010 tour. He had also sent text messages to Ali asking why he wanted the information.

Amir said on the day before the Lord's test that Mazhar had asked him to meet in his car. Butt later joined them.

He said Majeed had told him the International Cricket Council (ICC) was investigating the calls and texts to Ali but the case could be stopped if he bowled two no-balls in the forthcoming test. At practice subsequently, Butt had told him to practise bowling no-balls.

Amir said he had not been offered money at any stage but on the evening of the first day, after he had bowled the first no-ball, Majeed had come to his room and given him 1,500 pounds.

"He was happy...I knew why he was happy," he said. "No one is so stupid not to realise that if he was getting to deliver no-balls it must because of some sort of bet."

But Amir said he did not realise until the News of the World newspaper published details of a sting operation involving Majeed that it was the no-balls and not his relationship with Ali that were being investigated.

He said he knew nothing about a no-ball delivered by Asif and had not bowled his no-balls for money but because Majeed and Butt had told him he was in trouble over the texts to Ali.

"How was I manipulated? How was I made to do a thing like that? How was I trapped?," Amir said

"Why did those people do what they did to me? Up to now I have not been able to figure it out. However, I never did it for money."

(Reporting by John Mehaffey; Editing by Ed Osmond)

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