LONDON Nov 2 Sports agent Mazhar Majeed pleaded
guilty to spot fixing charges and told a British criminal court
that a fourth unnamed Pakistan cricketer was involved with
former captain Salman Butt in corrupting the sport, the Press
Association reported on Wednesday.
Majeed pleaded guilty to conspiracy to cheat and conspiracy
to making corrupt payments at a pre-trial hearing in September
but his admission could not be revealed before Wednesday due to
UK reporting restriction laws.
Majeed, who now faces sentencing along with three Pakistani
cricketers, said through his lawyer that Butt first approached
him to get involved in fixing back in 2009 and then took him to
lunch with the fourth unidentified player in March 2010 to
corrupt the sport further.
Butt, 27, and fast bowler Mohammad Asif, 28, were found
guilty on Tuesday of taking bribes to deliver pre-arranged no
balls during the fourth test against England at Lord's in August
Butt and Asif are facing up to seven years in jail or large
Majeed also told the court that out of the 150,000 pounds
($240,000) he received from the now defunct paper News of the
World, which exposed the corruption scandal through a sting
operation, he gave 65,000 pounds to Asif, 10,000 pounds to Butt
and 2,500 pounds to the third convicted player, Mohammad Amir.
The judge was informed that Asif was given the bulk of the
money to keep him loyal and stop him from approaching another
group of fixers.
Pace bowler Amir, 19, admitted his part in the scam before
the trial at Southwark Crown Court started and on Wednesday
offered a heartfelt apology during the sentence hearing, which
was adjourned until Thursday.
"I want to apologise to all in Pakistan and all others to
whom cricket is important...The best day of my life was when
selected by Pakistan. I was given my shirt the night before. I
stood for hours wearing it in front of the mirror," he said.
"I would have worn it all night but I didn't want to ruin
it. I want to apologise for not pleading guilty before. I wish I
had had the courage to do it earlier. I did the wrong thing. I
was trapped, because of my stupidity. I panicked."
The trio have already been banned from playing by the
International Cricket Council for a minimum of five years.
($1 = 0.626 British Pounds)
(Writing by Pritha Sarkar, editing by Ed Osmond. To comment on
this story: email@example.com)