18648 - Waqar 'greatly surprised' by Amir no-ball

Pakistan coach Waqar Younis has told the ICC Code of Conduct Commission that Mohammad Amir's infamous no-ball during the Lord's Test had surprised him "greatly" because it was very different from his normal delivery stride. He said he'd taken up the issue with the bowler, only for the then captain, Salman Butt, to intervene before Amir could reply.

Waqar's statements, published in Dawn, formed part of his testimony to the commission investigating the spot-fixing case, which will hear testimony from the three players suspended by the ICC - Amir, Butt and Mohammad Asif - from January 6-11 in Doha. All three have denied their involvement in any spot-fixing.

Waqar said he'd been "greatly" surprised by Amir's no-ball during the Lord's Test. "This was because Amir's front foot stepped over the line by a great distance whereas usually, if anything, Amir tends to bowl from well behind the front-foot line.

"I was so surprised by the delivery that when we went back into the dressing room at the end of that morning session I said to Amir in Punjabi, 'What the hell was that?'. But before Amir had the chance to answer my question, Salman interrupted from across the dressing room, saying: 'I told him to do it because the batsman was coming on the front foot. I told him to come forward and bowl him a bouncer'."

Following the exposť in the News of the World, Scotland Yard raided the Pakistan team's hotel in London and questioned the trio as well as a fourth player Wahab Riaz, who was not suspended.

The team's security manager, Khawaja Najam, told the commission of vast sums of money being confiscated from the room of one of the players. "During the Scotland Yard search of the players' rooms at the team hotel, two police officers found cash in a bag and a small suitcase which they seized. Most of the cash was in the suitcase," Dawn quoted Najam as saying. "I asked the police officers to put on record the amount of money they had confiscated and they did so immediately.

"I have retained that note and attached a copy of it which reads as follows: Room No. 714 - 24,300 UAE Dirhams, 29,787 pound sterling, 12,617 US dollars, 10 Australian dollars, 26,015 Pakistani rupees, 350 Canadian dollars and 440 South African rand.

"While we were there, the police officers asked Salman why he had so much cash in his room and Salman stated: 'It's for my two sisters, they are getting married, it's for their dowry'."

From Amir's room, Najam said, the police found "a Tag Heuer mobile phone and possibly other mobile phones, 5,000 pounds in cash, a few hundred US dollars and a white envelope with 2,500 pounds."

Butt explained in detail the money found in his room. Part of the money [11,000 pounds], he said, came from his daily tour allowance; another 4,500 pounds was from his extra entertainment allowance as team captain, while 2,500 pounds was for the opening of an ice-cream parlour in south London. The rest of the money, he said, was advanced payment for bat stickers which he was under contract for.