Sunday, September 5, 2010

Hameed hits out at tabloid sting

Yasir Hameed
Hameed has played 25 Test matches for Pakistan

Pakistan's Yasir Hameed says a meeting he had with the News of the World that was secretly recorded has been "inaccurately reported" by the tabloid.

The paper claimed that Hameed spoke to its reporter about other Pakistani cricketers fixing matches.

Three Pakistan players are currently being investigated by the ICC for alleged spot-fixing allegations.

"I only told him whatever I had already read in the papers about this matter," said batsman Hameed in a statement.

"I've never been approached by the News of the World 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," added Hameed.

The Pakistan batsman said he met News of the World reporter Mazhar Mahmood, who introduced himself to Hameed as Abid Khan, on 30 August at the Holiday Inn in Nottingham, a meeting that was secretly filmed by the tabloid.

Mahmood offered to arrange a £50,000 sponsorship deal for Hameed, before talking to him about the match-fixing allegations circling around Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir.

"Two days later Abid then called me and offered me £25,000 to give a statement against the three current players under investigation, which I immediately refused and put the phone down," said Hameed.

After the Pakistan Cricket Board released Hameed's statement, Pakistan one-day captain Shahid Afridi described the batsman as having the mental age of a teenager.

"He's 30 or 31; mentally he's 15 or 16, sitting with somebody he doesn't know, saying these type of things," said Afridi after Pakistan were beaten by England in Cardiff in a Twenty20 international.

Match-fixing is considered a more serious charge than the spot-fixing claims faced by Butt, Asif and Amir.

Spot-betting involves gamblers staking their money on the minutiae of sporting encounters, such as whether the first ball of a cricket match will be a wide or a no-ball.

Match-fixing, however, involves illegally influencing the outcome of an entire match.

The News of the World was not available for comment when contacted about Hameed's statement.

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