I would have played better: Salman Butt

Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt, seen here, will fly to London for a first court appearance where he and fellow banned players Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer face corruption charges.

Lahore: Mar 14, 2011

26-year-old banned Pakistan player Salman Butt said he was missing not playing in the ongoing World Cup, especially as the Pakistani openers were not performing well.

“I am missing the World Cup because I was at a stage of my career where I had matured and would have played better in this World Cup,” said opener Butt, who has never played a World Cup match.

“My prayers are with the team, but they have not played well. They are not overcoming their mistakes. In fact the number of mistakes are increasing with every match,” said Butt, who is working as a Cup pundit for a Pakistani TV channel.

Butt will fly to London on Tuesday for a first court appearance where he and fellow banned players Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer face corruption charges.

Butt, Asif and Aamer were all charged following allegations of corruption during the fourth Test against England at Lord’s last August. An International Cricket Council (ICC) anti-corruption tribunal has already banned Butt for 10 years, Asif for seven and Aamer for five.

British prosecutors last month announced the three players and their agent, Mazhar Majeed, were being charged with conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments, and also conspiracy to defraud bookmakers.

All three will make their first court appearance at London’s City of Westminster Magistrates Court on Thursday. “We have to register ourselves in the court. According to my information there will be no hearing as such initially,” Butt told AFP.

Asif is already in England while Aamer will also fly to the UK in the next couple of days. Under British law, accepting corrupt payments carries a maximum sentence of seven years’ imprisonment and an unlimited fine.

All three players deny the allegations and have already filed appeals against their bans in the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

AFP