Spot fixing: ICC’s ACU to question Pak batsman Yasir Hameed

Monday, September 6, 2010

LONDON - The International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Anti-Corruption Unit is likely to interview Pakistani batsman Yasir Hameed as part of its match-fixing investigation, even as his team mates have questioned his reliability as a witness on Sunday.

According to The Telegraph, ACU detectives will be free to talk to Hameed as he is not part of the criminal investigation being carried out by Scotland Yard, and it is likely, he will be asked to explain alleged comments made on film to an undercover reporter at the weekend during which he stated Pakistan were “fixing almost every match”.

Hameed’s comments have added to the pressure around the Pakistan squad who are potentially facing the prospect of another player being charged by the ICC this week.

It was revealed on Sunday that a fourth Pakistani cricketer was being investigated for match-fixing.

“We want to be prompt and decisive on this matter. It is not something we want to drag our heels on and as soon as we are in a position to make charges and disclosures we will do so,” the paper quoted ,” said Haroon Lorgat, the chief executive of the ICC, as saying.

Hameed’s nickname within the Pakistan team is ‘Bacha’, which means child in Urdu, and his naivety in talking with such openness to a complete stranger just days after the story of spot-fixing during the Lord’s Test broke is startling.

“He (Hameed) is 30-31 but mentally he is 15-16,” said Shahid Afridi, the Pakistan one-day captain.

“I don’t know who he was sitting with or in what situation he gave this message, but we have know him for a long time. We know we can expect anything from him and he does this kind of thing. People know what type of character he is,” Afridi added.

Hameed, who played in the third and fourth Tests, but is not in the one-day squad, was summoned to the Pakistan High Commission in London on Sunday for a meeting with Ijaz Butt, the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board.

Hameed later issued an affidavit through the High Commission claiming his comments to the News of the World were simply a repeat of the allegations made against Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir, and Mohammad Asif that had already been reported by the media.

He claims he was duped into talking to the newspaper’s investigative journalist, Mazher Mahmood, believing him to be a sponsor offering a 50,000 pound deal with the airline Etihad.

Hameed is shown on the hidden camera speaking casually about the case against the Pakistan team but goes further claiming he lost his place in the team because he refused to become involved in match-fixing.

It is an offence under the ICC’s code of conduct for a player not to report a suspicious approach which would give the ACU enough reason to interview Hameed. (ANI)

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