6 Nov 2011

Afridi claims approaches by agent Majeed

1:50 pm on 6 November 2011

The Pakistan cricketer Shahid Afridi has claimed he was approached by now imprisoned player agent Mazhar Majeed on several occasions, but refused to speak with him because of "suspicions".

Majeed, along with former Pakistan Test captain Salman Butt and two other players, was handed a prison term by a London court on Thursday for their roles in fixing parts of the Lord's Test against England last year.

Afridi, who handed the captaincy to Butt after losing the first Test to Australia on the same tour last year, says Majeed had tried to befriend him but he says he avoided him because he had his suspicions that he was involved in betting.

Afridi also rejected Majeed's claims that some players were fixing matches under his captaincy, saying that he never felt that any player was deliberately trying to let him down.

In London last week Butt was handed a 30-month sentence, Mohammad Asif 12, and Mohammad Aamer six months respectively for their roles in the fixing affair.

Afridi described Aamer as a great talent and says he felt sorry for the 19-year-old who he believes was trapped in the scandal because of his age.

Pakistan's cricket authorities have vowed to launch their own inquiry into the spot-fixing scandal which has badly tarnished the image of the sport in Pakistan.

Experts and former cricketers have blamed the Pakistan Cricket Board and team management on the England tour for the fiasco.

Asif Bajwa, the mentor of rising teenage star Aamer, says team management were to blame for not taking care of the players and should be questioned.

The new Pakistan Cricket Board chairman, Zaka Ashraf, says an inquiry will be launched with an aim to discover the circumstances and negligence that led to the scandal.

Ashraf also says PCB will seek to have match-fixing criminalised.