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Batsman 'naive' over cricket sting

The Pakistan batsman who accused team-mates of fixing matches has said he has been "naive" and only repeated what he read in the newspapers.

Test player Yasir Hameed said he believed he was speaking to a potential sponsor and the conversation published in the News of the World was "inaccurately reported".

Businessman Mazhar Majeed is accused of accepting £150,000 to arrange for Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer to deliberately bowl no-balls during the fourth Test at Lord's.

On Sunday, a statement was read out on Hameed's behalf by Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) legal adviser Tafazzul Rizvi outside the High Commission.

The day after the newspaper published last Sunday's allegations the player said he was approached by a man at the Holiday Inn in Nottingham who introduced himself as Abid Khan and offered to arrange a £50,000 sponsorship deal with Etihad Airways.

Hameed said it was only later that he discovered the man was the News of the World's "fake sheikh" Mazher Mahmood.

"Naturally, I was interested in what he had to say and we began a conversation," he said, adding that he gave him the names of four other players who might be interested in a similar deal.

"Then Abid Khan started asking about the current match-fixing allegations and as I saw him as a friend and a potential agent I naively started to answer his questions.

"As far as I recall, I only told him whatever I had already read in the newspapers about the matter."

Majeed has also been arrested and released on bail without charge.


From Belfast Telegraph