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Thursday May 16 2019

Friend gave spot-fixing scandal information to British paper, says Afridi


KARACHI: Former Pakistan Test cricketer Shahid Afridi has said that a friend of his gave information about Salman Butt's involvement in spot-fixing to a British paper.

Afridi, during his appearance on Geo News' show 'Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath', once again spoke about the spot-fixing scandal that rocked Pakistan cricket in 2010.

He said the players who were involved in the scandal suspect him to this day that he gave away information on them.

The former Pakistan all-rounder said had those players not been caught, Pakistan cricket would have immensely suffered.

It is pertinent to mention here that Afridi's autobiography 'Game Changer', which was launched a few days ago and includes several revelations, has been under criticism by senior players.

The spot-fixing scandal had come to the fore in England, after which International Cricket Council (ICC) not only punished Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir, but they also had to go to prison.

Butt says he is ashamed of his mistake and wishes for a chance to get to play for Pakistan towards the end of his career, so that he dispel the negative perception about him through his performance.

Afridi, in his auto-biography, has also mentioned the spot-fixing scandal. He said he had come to know of the scandal long ago and that he knew several players were involved in negative activities.

The former all-rounder said the fixer Mazhar Majeed had given his mobile phone for repairing and the owner of the London mobile repairing shop was friends with one of his friends.

He further wrote that messages sent to Pakistani players were found from Majeed's phone, leading to horrifying revelations.

Afridi said he showed the evidence to team management, but no action was taken.

"I had shared these messages with Waqar Younis and Manager Yawar Saeed. The team management was either scared of or it did not take the national prestige into account," he said.

"Yawar Saeed expressed his helplessness seeing those messages."

The former all-rounder said Saeed did not even bother to ask him to provide a copy of the messages, adding that former all-rounder Abdul Razzaq had also cast suspicions on Butt, Asif and Amir.

He said he had decided to step down from captaincy during the Lord's Test and had asked Butt that he could take over as skipper on the fourth day of the match.

Afridi said he had lost trust in the entire set-up, adding, "Team management was not ready to actively investigate the matter".

He said Butt compromised the dignity of the country, maintaining that he should neither be included in the national squad, nor any other team representing Pakistan in future.