Salman Butt is an 'honest and trustworthy' role model for the sport: Geoff Lawson

Geoff Lawson said he was “proud” to call Salman Butt friend AFP

London: October 21, 2011

Geoff Lawson, the former Pakistan coach, came to the defence of Salman Butt on Wednesday, telling a court that the former Pakistan captain is an “honest and trustworthy” role model for the sport.

The retired Australian Test bowler acted as a character witness and provided a statement which was read to the cricket corruption trial, in which he said he was “proud” to call Salman friend.

Lawson, 53, who coached Pakistan for 15 months from July 2007, added that Salman was “dedicated to his sport” and described him as “honest, trustworthy, generous, empathetic, helpful and intelligent.”

The Australian said that the 27-year-old s maturity was reflected in him being appointed vice captain of Pakistan when he was still a young man. “I certainly saw him as a future long term leader of the team,” he said. “His behaviour on and off the field was exemplary.”

David Dwyer, a Pakistan fitness coach, also gave a reference for Salman, saying that he “respected the game of cricket” and worked “constantly at his game”.

Dwyer said that the Pakistani opener s focus was his career but his “number one priority was his family”.

Statements from further character witnesses, including retired legspinner Abdul Qadir, will be heard tomorrow, when the case continues. (Agencies)