KARACHI: Kamran Akmal, his brother Umar, and Wahab Riaz have come under the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) scanner after their names were mentioned during the spot-fixing trial underway in London that involves the banned trio of Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif.
The players’ names came up when the court heard how the agent Mazhar Majeed, charged with accepting corrupt payments and cheating at gambling, boasted of having “two bowlers, two batsmen and two all-rounders” in the Pakistan team under his control to an undercover journalist.
Following the development, which occurred on the second day of the trial, the PCB legal adviser Tafazzul Rizvi has decided to extend his stay in London and closely follow the proceedings.
“I’ve extended my stay to attend more sessions,” Rizvi told The Express Tribune from London. “I had to delay my return after three other Pakistan cricketers were also named in the case.
“There will be important sessions coming up including the testimony of journalist Mazhar Mehmood. I’ll be observing the trial closely to figure out any possible links of other players with this case. The cross examinations of Butt, Amir and Asif are also going to be crucial,” said Rizvi.
‘Trio not in trouble’
However, the board’s counsel said the Riaz and the Akmal brothers were not in trouble yet. “They were just named during the prosecutor’s arguments and he was quoting the agent’s claims.
“There’s no evidence against the three players and they stand clear.”
‘Banned cricketers’ case weakening’
Meanwhile, another official close to the ongoing trial said the prosecution had a strong case against Butt, Amir and Asif.
“The trio’s defence is becoming weak,” said the official. “All the three cricketers have something or the other going against them.”
He said there was shocking evidence shown in the court against Amir.
“The record of messages, which Amir sent to his contacts through Majeed’s brother Azhar Majeed, has also been obtained.
“After the International Cricket Council raid, Amir messaged his contacts not to call him on his phone, which was held as evidence.”
Meanwhile, the spot-fixing trial will resume today with journalist Mehmood, who unearthed the case following a sting operation, appearing before the court.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 10th, 2011.
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