The Butt-trial

The spot fixing case has been on full throttle and it reaching its final crescendo. Here is an excerpt from the examination of one of the prime accused, Salman Butt, the erstwhile captain of Pakistan and the man at the eye of the proverbial storm.

‘For the record, state your name.’

‘Salman Butt…’

‘But what?’

‘What?’

‘Salman but what? Have you changed your name? Salman Butterworth perhaps?’

‘Objection my Lord!’

‘Sustained.’

‘So, Mr. Butt, let me get straight to the point. Were you involved in the fixing?’

‘It depends. I was involved in fixing the broken birdcage at the hotel I was staying in and back home

in Pakistan, I have a reputation of being a handyman. In fact, my Asterix-oriented friends even call

me Getafix.’

‘I meant match-fixing, Mr. Butt.’

‘Well, if you know the system in India and Pakistan, marriages are arranged and I have indeed

suggested alliances for my friends. So, in that sense, I have indeed fixed matches. Are you looking for

a Pakistani bride?’

‘I meant, spot-fixing, Mr. Butt.’

‘Well, that goes without saying. Marriage halls must be hired and I have been known to occasionally help out my friends in that regard as well – to fix the spot of the wedding.’

‘Mr Butt! I was talking of spot fixing during the infamous test match against England.’

‘Oh! That! Well, I do not think I know anything about it.’

‘Are you sure?’

‘No. I am Salman.’

‘Mr Butt! Some degree of seriousness is of the essence. Now, please let us know of your relationship with Mr Mazhar Majeed.’

‘Well, let’s see. My cousin from my father’s side is married to his aunt, which, I calculate, makes him my second cousin. Or wait. Is it the third?…’

‘Mr Butt!! Could we be a little serious here? Now, please let us know of how you came to be found with £30,002 in your hotel room -room 714 at the Marriott in Regents Park.’

‘Oh! That? Well, I was sitting in my room one evening and the police came in and found the money. D-uh! That’s how I was found.’

‘I can see that this is going nowhere.’

‘Indeed. This witness box is most uncomfortable. Could we continue this outdoors?’

‘No.’

‘Fair enough. It was worth a shot though. Oh well!’

‘Moving on… could you name the others accused?’

‘Well, Mohommed Amer – I can’t really be sure of how he spells his name these days – and Mohommad Asif.’

‘Go on…’

‘Well, that’s the whole lot.’

‘No no. You were just saying something. Mohommad as if what?’

‘Eh?’

‘Nothing. Moving on. Shahid Afridi. Just to set the context right. How old is he?’

‘Eighteen.’

‘Mr Butt! May I remind you that you are under oath. So tell us. When was he born?’

‘Alright. I’ll tell you. He was born on 1st March.’

‘And the year?’

‘Nineteen eighty… and then it keeps changing.’

‘Your co-conspirators and you have been accused of deliberately underperforming to remove him from captaincy and make you the captain. What do you have to say?’

‘Shahid’s a good kid but he got captaincy way too early in his career. He was hardly 18! But he was a good kid.’

‘Mr Butt, you have not answered the question.’

‘Well, I have nothing to say. As with all the other accusations, I deny this one as well. Now, I need to ask you a question.’

‘Yes?’

‘When is lunch? I’m starving.’

 

The case continues…

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