I was tricked says Hameed
Former Pakistan opener Yasir Hameed has made some damning revelations about match fixing involving Pakistan cricket players, stating that he was offered money and even blackmailed to stand by the remarks attributed to him.
Hameed has come up with a detailed explanation to his side of the story about how the News of the World newspaper released a video of him in which he accuses Pakistani players of fixing matches and losing deliberately
Tafazzul Rizvi, the legal advisor of the board released a statement on behalf of Yasir after the test batsman was called to the Pakistan High Commission for a meeting by the High Commissioner, Wajid Shamsul Hasan with PCB chief, Ijaz Butt and Tafazzul also attending the meeting in London.
Yasir said in a statement that he was offered money and even blackmailed to stand by the remarks attributed to him in a video which he claims was shot without his knowledge and he was tricked into saying the things heard on the video.
“I would like to respond to comments attributed to me by the News of the World. I wish to stress I have never been approached by the NOTW and neither did I approach anyone connected with the News of the World to disclose any allegations concerning the Pakistan cricket team or any other players,” Yasir said in his statement.
Yasir claimed that he was having dinner with a friend at the Holiday Inn Nottingham on the evening of Monday 30th August 2010 and was then approached by a man who introduced himself as Abid Khan and offered that he would arrange a sponsorship deal for him (Yasir) with ETIHAD Airways.
“I have now seen a photograph of the so called Abid Khan and have discovered that he is Mazhar Mahmood.”
“Naturally I was interested in what he had to say and we began conversation. He offered me at least 50,000 pounds for the deal, which was for ETIHAD sticker at the back of the cricket bat plus TV and billboard advertisements in the UAE.
He also asked me for names of 4 more players who may be interested in a similar deal I thought of Umar Gul, Shahid Afridi, Umar Akmal and Fawad Alam,” Yasir said.
“I also called Umar Gul during this conversation to tell him about this potential contract deal and he agreed that I should continue with the negotiations,” he said.
“Then Abid Khan started asking about the current match fixing allegations and as I saw him as a friend and a potential agent I naively started to answer his questions.
He asked me about the match fixing allegations against the current 3 Pakistani players and if I had any further knowledge.
As far as I can recall I only told him whatever I had already read in the newspapers about this matter,” Yasir stated.
“It seems that Abid had a hidden camera which I was totally unaware of. I then left the hotel with my friend and came back to where I was staying.
Two days later Abid then called me and offered me 25,000 pounds to give a statement against the 3 current players under investigation, which I immediately refused and put the phone down.
I neither called nor answered any calls from Abid after this conversation. When News of the World released my conversation, which Abid Khan recorded without me knowing about it, I was contacted by the media in Pakistan to confirm if I gave the statement to the NOTW, I denied categorically as explained above that this was not the case.
Subsequently, I received a text message from Abid Khan from his number 078 6010 9876, which I found to be intimidating as reflected in his message reproduced below,? Yasir said.
“Pls call me. Incidentally you are in video drinking wine and saying all the quotes attributed to you. Denying it is just stupid as we will be releasing the video to TV. Better that you stand up and speak the truth,” Yasir said.
Interestingly Yasir nor Tafazzul bothered to answer why Yasir had not reported his meeting with Abid Khan aka Mazhar Mahmood earlier to the team management.