Imran Hits out after Admitting Ball-Tampering, Says QC

Imran Hits out after Admitting Ball-Tampering, Says QC

Post by Vicky B. Vigneswar » Sat, 03 Aug 1996 04:00:00

Thursday 01, August 1996

Imran hits out after admitting ball-tampering, says QC

LONDON, Wednesday (AFP) - Imran Khan hit out at  Ian  Botham  be-
cause  he was horrified at the publicity given to his own confes-
sion of ball-tampering, the High Court was told here  by  Charles
Gray QC, on Tuesday.

Gray, for Botham and Lamb, said: "We say  he  is  not  the  fair-
minded  balanced  observer of the cricketing scene, he would have
you believe, but someone who loses no  opportunity  to  denigrate
and humiliate Ian Botham".

Botham and his former England team mate Allan Lamb are suing  Im-
ran  over  an  "offensive personal attack" on them in India Today
magazine which, they say,  called  them  racist,  uneducated  and
lacking class and upbringing.

Botham alone is suing over a May 1994 report in The Sun which  he
alleges accused him of ball-tampering -- something he says he has
never done.

Imran, who denies libel, says his words were taken out of context
and he was only trying to defend himself.

Mr. Gray, in his closing speech,  told  the  jury  that  the  ex-
Pakistani  skipper's only defence of qualified privilege fell "at
every hurdle".

It failed because the articles by the two former England players,
to  which  Imran  responded, were justifiable and because Imran's
"counter-attack" went way beyond self-defence.

Most of all, Imran was malicious in that the allegations  of  ra-
cism  and ball-tampering did not stem from an honest belief, said
the QC.

He asked the jury to consider Imran's review  of  Botham's  auto-
biography,  in  which he took "every opportunity to nit-pick" and
introduce jibes at his expense.

On the question of damages, he described racism as a  "grave  li-
bel"  whereas  ball-tampering amounted to the very serious charge
of cheating.

Any award could be aggravated by the absence of  an  apology  and
the conduct of the defence over the ball-tampering allegation.

Mr. Gray added that his clients  did  not  want  an  "extravagant

What Botham and Lamb always wanted, he maintained, was "to vindi-
cate their reputations and indicate there is not an iota of truth
in the allegations".

The jury are likely to make their decision on Wednesday.

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