Sunday, 05 Sep, 2010 | 02:31 AM PST |
LONDON, Sept 4: An allegation attributed to cricketer Yasir Hameed by
the News of the World newspaper on Saturday threatened to heap more
disgrace on the embattled Pakistan team. Yasir reportedly claimed in
an interview with the tabloid that Pakistani players had been fixing
almost every match. But the batsman denied in a television interview
that he had ever spoken to the paper.
They were doing it in almost every match, Yasir was quoted as
telling the reporter. God knows what they were up to. Scotland Yard
was after them for ages.It makes me angry because Im playing my best
and they are trying to lose.
Yasir played in last weeks fourth test against England, in which
Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamir are alleged to have deliberately
bowled no balls in *** with bookmakers.
The News of the World said its Sunday edition would claim that a
fourth Pakistan player was being investigated by the ICC, but that he
cannot be named for legal reasons.
The tabloid said Butt, Aamir and Asif face a total of 23 charges from
the ICC. The captain of Pakistans limited overs teams has apologised
to cricket fans for the controversy.
The newspaper said the latest edition would include proof that
Pakistan High Commissioner Wajid Shamsul Hasan was mistaken in his
assertion that the paper recorded Majeed discussing the timing of the
no balls after they were bowled on Aug 26.
Mr Hasan has accused the ICC of bias for banning the players while
police are still looking into the case.
After the shocking, arbitrary and high-handed suspension of the three
Pakistani cricketers through the ICCs uncalled for action, nothing is
coming to me as a surprise, Mr Hasan said in a statement. Rather, my
apprehensions that there is a rat in the whole affair are being
Haroon Lorgat, the ICC chief executive, has denied that the charges
were evidence of bias and said the ICC was committed to maintaining
the countrys status as a full member of the body.
The International Cricket Council suspended Asif, Aamir and test
captain Salman ***this week while it investigates them for various
offenses under the sports anti-corruption code.
The ICC has not detailed the charges, which followed a sting operation
detailed in last weeks News of the World that alleged a middleman
accepted payment in exchange for the deliberate no balls in the match
at Lords _ which Pakistan lost by an innings and 225 runs for its
worst ever test defeat.
The ICC has called it the biggest fixing scandal to hit cricket for a
The trio were released without criminal charge after being questioned
by London police on Friday, but could be banned from cricket for life
if found guilty.
The Pakistan Cricket Boards legal adviser said on Saturday that Butt,
Aamir and Asif had denied knowledge of any alleged wrongdoing by the
middleman, agent Mazhar Majeed.
The players have informed the police that the man was their agent,
but they had no knowledge, about his alleged wrongdoing, Tafazzul
Rizvi told private television channels.
Shahid Afridi said on Saturday that the players in the squad for the
remaining two Twenty20 and five one-day matches against England were
upset by the allegations.
On behalf of these boys _ I know theyre not in this series _ I want
to say sorry to all cricket lovers and all cricketing nations, Afridi
Its very bad news, Afridi said on the eve of Sundays first
Twenty20 in Cardiff. Its a big challenge for me as captain but were
all ready. The coach and I are not talking about the issue _ we are
here to play cricket.
Ive told the boys, dont read the newspapers, Afridi said.
The News of the World has accused Majeed of acting as a middleman,
accepting money in exchange for getting Asif and Aamir to bowl
intentional no balls.
Haroon Lorgat has termed the allegations the most serious case of
corruption since South African captain Hansie Cronje was banned for
life 10 years ago.
Cronje admitted to forecasting results in exchange for money from a
London bookmaker, prompting the ICC to create its Anti-Corruption and
Security Unit (ACSU). --Agencies