Geoff Lawson, the former Pakistan coach, came to the defence of Salman Butt yesterday, telling a court he 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 the former captain his friend.
Mr Lawson, 53, who coached Pakistan for 15 months from July 2007, added Butt 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 because he had the capacity to positively affect those around him,” he said.
“His behaviour on and off the field was exemplary.”
David Dwyer, a Pakistan fitness coach, also gave a reference for Butt, saying that he “respected the game of cricket” and worked “constantly at his game”.
Dwyer said that Butt’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.
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