Disgraced Salman Butt admits to spot-fixing, apologises to fans

Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt for the first time has publicly admitted to having indulged in spot-fixing and has apologised to his fans for his act, two years after he was found guilty of the offence. 

Butt along with Mohammed Asif and Mohammed Aamir were banned by the ICC after it was proved that they were guilty of spot-fixing during a Test match against England at Lord's in 2010.   

In April, Butt and his former teammate Mohammad Asif lost their appeals to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) for the suspensions to be reduced and Dave Richardson, the ICC's chief executive, called on them to admit their wrongdoing and cooperate with the ICC's anti-corruption and security unit (ACSU).

"I admit the decision of the ICC tribunal," Butt said in a brief statement.

Salman Butt
Former Pakistan cricket captain Salman Butt talks with the media in Lahore on Friday. Butt on June 28 apologised to Pakistan and fans for the first time on spot-fixing which ended in a five-year ban and jail term for him two years ago. Pic/AFP

"I said it before and am saying again, that to all those who have been disappointed by my actions, I do apologise for them. Also, the [negative] effect it had on cricket's integrity, I would like to apologise for that," Butt was quoted as saying.

"I want to insist, to all those playing and wanting to play cricket, they must stay away from such wrongdoings because it negatively effects them and the game of cricket," the former Pakistan skipper added.

Butt received a 10-year ban, with five years suspended, for his role in the scam. Asif was barred for seven years, with two suspended, while Aamer got five years. Butt also served time in prison in England. 

In April, Butt and Asif lost their appeals to the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport, and the ICC urged the players to accept their guilt and start rehabilitation. Aamer had not appealed after pleading guilty before the UK court in 2011.

"I admit the ICC tribunal decision and warn the future players to avoid the pitfalls of corruption because this is bad for the country and for the fans," Butt, 28, said.

He and Aamer have agreed to undergo rehabilitation through the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and Butt's public apology is seen as a step towards shortening the remaining period of suspension.

Butt also appealed to the interim PCB chief Najam Sethi on Friday to reduce his ban and permit a return to domestic cricket, while indicating his ambition to play internationally in the future.

"I request the interim chairman to request the ICC to reduce my and Asif's bans. I have two years ban left so if the ICC allows me to play domestic cricket then I will be ready for international matches once my ban ends.

"I have enough cricket left in me and when my ban ends I am ready to play for the country again," said Butt.

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