ISLAMABAD: Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi on Wednesday said that once Salman Butt, Muhammad Asif and Muhammad Amir appear in their hearing in Qatar, their innocence will be proven.
Currently the trio is under suspension by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for allegedly taking money from a bookmaker in London to bowl no-balls in the Lord’s Test match against England.
“The players are going to appear in the hearing in Qatar, and hopefully their innocence will be proven,” Afridi was quoted as saying.
“I am sure no player of the current team is involved in such practices,” he said, referring to the squad for the forthcoming series against South Africa,” Cricket365.com quoted him as saying.
“Young players are often ignorant of their surroundings and fall prey to bookmakers,” he said, adding that “there was no need for such ill-gotten wealth when the players could earn handsomely from sponsorship deals and other endorsements.”
The ODI and Twenty20 captain said he had spoken about his suspicions about the alleged bookie brothers, Azhar and Mazhar Majeed, with the team management after hearing from several people.
“The young team needs support at this crucial juncture and the same set of players will produce winning results,” he said.
Afridi said that the England tour was the most difficult in his 13-14 year career. “When I reached there to take charge of the squad for the one-day and T20 leg, the situation was quite worse,” he said.
“It was a big achievement to win even two games in such trying circumstances,” Afridi said. “It’s a team game and everybody should pull together to achieve desired results,” he said.
“There is no use indulging in a blame game after something has happened.” Afridi conceded that he acted in haste in announcing his retirement from Test cricket, after the defeat to England in the first Test.
More in SportsNo evidence of Pakistan one-day fix: ICC