Nearly a decade after the infamous spot-fixing scandal in Pakistan cricket, former all-rounder Abdul Razzaq has said that left-arm pacer Mohammad Amir confessed about his crime only after then ODI skipper Shahid Afridi slapped him.
While speaking to GNN news channel, Razzaq narrated the Amir incident, saying: “He (Afridi) told me to leave the room but after a while I heard the sound of a slap and then Aamir told the whole truth.”
The all-rounder blamed the then PCB set-up for tarnishing the image of Pakistan cricket.
“I thought instead of going to the ICC to prove its efficiency, the PCB should have instead directly taken the three players to task despite their denials and sent them back home on some pretext. They should have banned them for a year or so. In the end by not doing this, the PCB spoilt the image of Pakistan cricket worldwide,” he added.
Razzaq also claimed that Pakistan Test skipper at that time, Salman Butt, was deliberately getting out and playing dot balls much before the scandal surfaced in the media.
“I shared my concerns with Afridi but he said it is just my Waham (misconception) and nothing is wrong. But when I was batting with Salman Butt during a match of the World T20 in West Indies, I was convinced he was letting down the team.”
Razzaq recalled he told Butt to take a single and give him the strike but he did not pay attention to his suggestion.
“I was surprised when he refused this strategy. When I realised what he was up to (something) I told him strictly to give me the strike. Yet every over he deliberately played two or three balls and then gave me strike. I got upset and felt the pressure and got out.”
Butt, Amir and Mohammad Asif were the three players involved in the 2010 spot-fixing scandal. The trio was eventually banned for a minimum of five years in early 2011 by the ICC’s anti-corruption tribunal.
All three have now returned to playing cricket after completing serving their bans. However, Amir is the only one who has represented the nation after completing his time away from the game.
(With PTI inputs)