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Pak Cricketer Yasir Hameed Blows Lid Off Corruption : News Of The World Report

Pakistani cricketer Yasir Hameed  who played in the rigged Lord's Test has sensationally confirmed that there were cheats in his team, The London tabloid News of the World reports. Opening batsman Yasir Hameed claimed that
PTI September 06, 2010 12:06 IST
Pakistani cricketer Yasir Hameed  who played in the rigged Lord's Test has sensationally confirmed that there were cheats in his team, The London tabloid News of the World reports.

Opening batsman Yasir Hameed claimed that bent teammates were fixing "almost every match".

And he provided a devastating insight into the shady world of betting scams, telling how he:

REFUSED bribes of up to £150,000 from a corrupt bookmaker to throw matches.

LOST his own place in the squad and saw his career damaged as a result.

WATCHED as crooked colleagues splashed out on plush properties and expensive sports cars funded by their illicit activities.

LEARNED that shameless players pocketed an astonishing £1.8million for rigging a Test match against Australia earlier this year.

Hameed, once rated amongst the world's finest batsmen, said of his scandal-struck colleagues: "They've been caught. Only the ones that get caught are branded crooks.

"They were doing it (fixing) in almost every match. God knows what they were up to. Scotland Yard was after them for ages.

"It makes me angry because I'm playing my best and they are trying to lose."

And, predicting the likely fate of the players exposed by the News of the World, Hameed added darkly: "The guys that have got done have got themselves killed.

"They're gone - forget about them."

Hameed's remarks will heap pressure on the ICC investigation and the preposterous defence thrown up last week by shamed Pakistan skipper Salman Butt, bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir and their Pakistan Cricket Board bosses.

Sipping white wine in a Nottingham hotel just two days after our revelations sparked a worldwide sensation, Hameed, 32, described how he became a victim of betting cartels' vengeance for refusing to fix games.

"It's because of all these wrong things that I was outed, because I wouldn't get involved," he told our undercover reporter.

"If you sat here and said, 'I'm a bookie and I want you to fix the match tomorrow' - I've met lots of people like that in the past and I refused. They offered me handsome money.

"I could have come to see you in a Ferrari. They give you so much money that you can live out your dreams, buy a flash car.

 "I've been offered huge amounts of money, up to £150,000."

"I wouldn't get involved. That's why I was out of the team for two years - two years! Now God has punished them. I played in the (Lord's) match. Even though I flopped, these guys have been caught out.

"Just look at my average. It's 38, 39 (runs scored per innings). Which player in the world has that average and is dropped?

"If I was playing for any other country, what would I be now? I'd be the team captain."

Hameed's record supports his case. He had a sensational start to his international career in 2003, scoring 170 runs in his first innings and another 105 in the second, against Bangladesh.

In his first 30 One Day Inter- nationals, he scored more runs than any other batsman. Yet despite that he has bounced in and out of the national team.

"The truth is I've never sold a match for Pakistan. I've always got by on legitimate money. I come from a middle-class hard-working family," he said. Hameed detailed how the lure of riches had led some of his comparatively poorly paid teammates to fall for the lure of match-fixers.

By contrast with the limited fees of around £2,000 a match, Hameed said the potential rewards for rigging games were huge.

Detailing the crooked price list of the match-fixers, he said: "The £150,000 (paid to Majeed) was just (a deposit) to show what would happen on this ball, what would happen on the other ball.

"In the future, imagine how much money they would have made. Imagine how many pounds they would have made!

"He (Majeed) pays the players whatever the rate is. I think they get £20,000 or £25,000 for no balls. God knows what was the deal, I didn't ask."

Hameed asked why Asif - one of three players at the centre of the scandal who was last week suspended by the ICC - had been able to amass a big property portfolio.

"I'm having a house built and it's stopped halfway," said Hameed. "I'm building it from legitimate money and work has stopped.

"Asif - how many matches has he played and how many have I played? I've played 80 matches and he's played around 50. He has four mansions. Where did they come from?

"He has just built a house in Italian style in Lahore. You go there and you will think you are in Italy - that's how good his house is."

Hameed also dramatically claimed that another game had been thrown. Talking about fixed matches, he said: "The ICC Champion Trophy, Rose Bowl, we lost a match against West Indies, do you remember?" That was a semi-final game in 2004 at The Rose Bowl in Southampton.

The West Indies won the match by seven wickets despite posting just 132 runs. Pakistan capitulated to 131 all out.

The ICC's anti-corruption team may well now add the match to another they are investigating - January's farcical Test Match between Pakistan and Australia in Sydney.

Last week, we revealed how gloating Majeed bragged to our undercover team how they fixed the result.

"We let them (Australia) get up to 150 in the morning, and then everyone lost their wickets. That one we made 1.3 (million)."

Amazingly, Hameed claims Majeed underestimated the cash netted in the scam. He told us: "In the Sydney Test Match they made £1.8million - they gave away the match. I don't know how the money was divided up."

Of some agents who swarm around players, Hameed angrily told us: "There are agents but they are bastard bookies basically."

Turning to Mr Fix-it Mazhar Majeed - the lynchpin of the Lords scandal - Hameed spoke of his relief that he had given the crooked agent a wide berth.

"He had seven players. He didn't make me an offer and I didn't want to take a chance. I know what was going on."

But Hameed remains curiously loyal to shamed skipper Butt.

"He's a nice guy basically," he said. "I don't know why he's gone like this because of money."

Listen to the taped calls between NOTW reporter and the match-fixer who rigged the Lord's Test


See fixer Mazhar Majeed take a £10,000 down payment before guaranteeing two no-balls