Swann recalls day after spot-fixing scam came out in the open
England off-spinner Graeme Swann has revealed that he will never forget the grim atmosphere after the 2010 Lord's Test against Pakistan when the undercover 'spot-fixing' sting was published by the News of the World.
The spot-fixing controversy centres on allegations that then Pakistan captain Salman Butt, and fast bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamir took bribes from a bookmaker, Mazhar Majeed, to deliberately underperform at certain times in the match.
"It was vile information to digest. The next morning was the most bizarre atmosphere in which I've played international cricket. We just didn't know how to celebrate. None of us spoke to the opposition," the Sun quoted Swann, as saying in his autobiography, The Breaks Are Off, My Autobiography.
Image: Graeme Swann
'We just wanted to wash our hands of the series'
"We just couldn't wait to get off the field -- we just wanted to wash our hands of the series. The after-match presentation was held away from the public glare and we just grabbed our winners' medals and cheques and got out of there," he added.
Undercover reporters from News of the World, led by Mazher Mahmood, had secretly video-taped Majeed accepting money and informing the reporters that Asif and Aamir would deliberately bowl no-balls at specific points in an over.
This information could have been used by gamblers to place bets.
In response to these allegations, Scotland Yard arrested Majeed on the charge of match-fixing.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) banned Butt, Asif and Aamir for terms of between five and ten years.
Image: The England team applauds during the presentation on Day 4 of the 4th Test between England and Pakistan at Lord's in August 2010
Butt came across as aloof, arrogant
Swann has also revealed that he disliked former Pakistan captain Salman Butt even before he was exposed as a spot-fixing cheat.
In his recently-published autobiography Swann also told how he loved mocking Butt after he bowled him in the fateful fourth Test at Lord's in 2010.
"The way Salman Butt carried himself rubbed me up the wrong way. Aloof and arrogant are the best descriptions of him. What made my dismissal of him in the Lord's Test all the more satisfying was that he pompously refused to leave the field despite being bowled," the Sun quoted Swann, as saying.
Image: Salman Butt
'Toying with him as he stood his ground was hilarious'
"We knew the TV replays would confirm his fate and I really enjoyed standing in our huddle taking the mickey out of him. He was adamant the ball rebounded off Matt Prior's gloves -- he probably had a bit too much on his mind to realise the truth."
"Toying with him as he stood his ground was hilarious. A lot of the Pakistani lads can't speak English but he most definitely can. It was nice to know he could understand every word of what I said -- although I also taught him a few new ones," he added.
Butt and Asif have been found guilty by a London court on criminal charges relating to spot-fixing.
Aamir and Majeed had entered guilty pleas on the same charges.
Image: Graeme Swann (2nd from left) of England celebrates the wicket of Salman Butt