“I’ve never taken fixing allegations seriously”: Kamran Akmal

Saturday, November 20, 2010

KARACHI - Even as uncertainty prevails over Pakistan cricketer Kamran Akmal’s future following his implication in the spot-fixing scandal, the discarded wicketkeeper denies taking the ‘fixing’ allegations against him “seriously,” and says that he has not seen any fellow player do anything inappropriate on the field during his eight-year stint.

“I have never taken these allegations seriously or to heart, but yes, they have affected my family and our family life,” the Daily Times quoted Akmal, as saying on Friday.

“In my eight years of playing for Pakistan, I have never ever seen any fellow player try to lose a match or do something deliberately,” he added.

Akmal’s selection for the New Zealand tour and the World Cup preliminary squad will depend on whether the International Cricket Council (ICC) anti-corruption unit gives clearance to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for his inclusion in the team.

Earlier this week, the national selection committee called a meeting in which a list of 40 probables for the New Zealand tour and the World Cup was finalised. Sources said that the list included Akmal, Danish Kaneria (who was stopped by the PCB from joining the Test team in UAE for the series against South Africa) and Rana Navedul Hasan, all of whom will require clearance not only from the PCB committee but also from the ICC, the paper said.

According to sources, the ICC had initially told the PCB not to consider Akmal and Kaneria, but had now given clearance, the paper added.

Akmal, who was dropped for the series against South Africa, said that it was a great lesson for him, as now he valued the national cap much more.

“The downside is obviously I have missed playing for my country, but on the positive side, I have spent Eid for the first time with my family after so many years because normally we have always been on tours during Eid,” he added.

In the wake of allegations against him, the wicketkeeper-batsman insisted that he had always played honestly for Pakistan and tried to give his best. “It is a fact that my family gets disturbed by these allegations because they are not true. But I guess one has to live with that,” he stated.

He also vowed to give his best on getting an opportunity to play for Pakistan again, and expressed his disappointment over the fact that next year’s World Cup matches would not be held in his country.

“The World Cup is very important for us, specially after the disappointment of the last edition. Given the fact that it is being played in our region is also a big advantage for us. But yes it is terribly disappointing for all of us that the matches are not being held in Pakistan.” (ANI)

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