Revealed: management’s thumbs-up

Published: August 31, 2010
Mazhar Majeed arrested for spot-fixing released on bail without any charge. PHOTO: NEWS OF THE WORLD

Mazhar Majeed arrested for spot-fixing released on bail without any charge. PHOTO: NEWS OF THE WORLD

KARACHI: In a shocking revelation following the spot-fixing allegations, the Pakistan team management has conceded to The Express Tribune that it had no problems with the players interacting with the alleged bookmaker Mazhar Majeed who was arrested and later released on bail.

The confession comes just days after reports that Pakistan’s One-Day International and Twenty20 captain Shahid Afridi had barred his teammates from having any links with Mazhar who, along with his brother Azhar, acted as the players’ agent for club contracts and endorsements in England.

“We were fully aware that some of the players had Mazhar and Azhar as their agents and we didn’t have a problem with that,” a member of the team management told The Express Tribune from Taunton where the team arrived yesterday. “As long as they weren’t brought  to the players’ rooms, we didn’t have a problem since the duo acted as their agents.”

Afridi, who announced his Test retirement after defeat in the tour’s first Test against Australia, was sceptical of the duo, an act not taken well by Mazhar who, in the video recorded by The News of the World, confirmed this stance and that the players opposed Afridi as captain for precisely this reason.

“They all want [Salman] Butt to be captain,” Mazhar had allegedly confessed before adding the players wanted Afridi to fail

While Mazhar has been released on bail by Scotland Yard, the Pakistan team’s associate manager Shafqat Rana has confirmed that no players will be suspended by the management while the police investigations were ongoing. He added that despite the magnitude of the allegations, the players remained confident and fully focussed on the job at hand.

“We have no reason to suspend anyone at the moment,” Rana told The Express Tribune. “The chairman is in London and he’s arriving here soon and we’ll wait for the police to complete their investigations.

“The players know they have a job at hand and a tour to carry on with. Despite being sad and hurt due to the allegations, they’re acting their usual selves, smiling as always and remain confident that they can do a good job on the remainder of the tour.”

Rana’s cheerfulness was in stark comparison to Pakistan’s body language on the fourth morning at Lord’s. While the batsmen were booed on the field and the post-match ceremony held indoors to avoid crowd reaction, Salman remain subdued in the post-match press conference, with a  distraught look to his face, and let team manager Yawar Saeed reply to most questions.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 31st, 2010.

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Reader Comments (14)

  • Shiraz
    Aug 31, 2010 - 2:49AM

    I don’t see why Azhar or Mazhar should be allowed to continue profiting from any further game play by players managed by them. This comment of “Despite being sad and hurt due to the allegations, they’re acting their usual selves” is a joke .. There should be full accountability for claims of game fixing or corruption no matter where the trail leads. I suspect that if Mazhar has been released on bail he will some how cut a deal for himself. Recommend

  • Aug 31, 2010 - 4:07AM

    As far as Shafqat Rana is concerned, he is a professional cheat and therefore for him, shame or remorse for acts done like match fixing are not a problem. It is unfortunate that PCB under Ijaz Butt, has a soft corner for any cricketer involved in corrupt practices. This is why Younus Khan was shown the way out and now Zulqarnain on flimsy medical grounds. Zulqarnain’s departure proves involvement of the PCB tour officials. Mr Ijaz Butt has been present on every tour made by the team. Ijaz Butt is there because of Ch Ahmed Mukhtar, inspite of the defamation and shame he has brought to the nation. Why should the Patron allow this?. Can somebody ask him. Recommend

  • Yusaf Khan
    Aug 31, 2010 - 4:26AM

    I would be surprised if the team management wasn’t part of this match fixing cartel. After all why was Younis Khan so unceremoniously kicked out of the team and he has yet to find his way back even with a batting test average of more than 50. Recommend

  • Kashif M. Malik
    Aug 31, 2010 - 7:11AM

    its a fake story?? question is this why this new not top-up on the day of test match….Recommend

  • Aug 31, 2010 - 9:51AM

    Why everybody looks in a sense of shock? Now they got the answer Why God did not care for their prayers in the critical moments of the match!Recommend

  • SK
    Aug 31, 2010 - 9:59AM

    It is not surprising that team management let the players mingle with bookies even after doubts casted by Shahid Afridi. – you can’t expect them to be any lesser corrupt than their patron.Recommend

  • Aug 31, 2010 - 10:32AM

    If the case takes a turn for the worse, players should hand in their resignation to save face, or whatever they have left of it.Recommend

  • ArifQ
    Aug 31, 2010 - 10:32AM

    Assuming team management is also involved, then this goes much deeper and a kid like Amir had no chance. Proper investigation and protecting the younger players it has become imperative that players are separated not only from management but also from each other, the chances of blackmail and threats to life cannot be ignored. Recommend

  • Atif
    Aug 31, 2010 - 11:07AM

    We are emotional people, without proper investigation how we can say its right or wrong.
    If investigation Profs that it was a fake story than would our media and all critics (who emerge in this situation with prophecy) feel shame I don’t think so? Recommend

  • ali
    Aug 31, 2010 - 11:39AM

    this is a one province matter so nothing to worried about Recommend

  • saad aamer
    Aug 31, 2010 - 1:14PM

    who is honest in Pakistan,from the start till now every Pakistani is to make money.All ministers,secretaries,Islamabad 95 % property Karachi,Lahore every investment is from bribes,commissions,Zia was a soldier,a.Rahman was a army recruit, now estimate the values of these peoples.When ask they confirm their wealth as legal,how ?.
    Pakistan need a leader like Saddam whose Iraq was free of corruption.Recommend

  • Adam
    Aug 31, 2010 - 2:14PM

    The Pakistan management need to show a strong resolve. All players involved in the allegation should be suspended pending the outcome of the investigation. The involvement of Amir, Asif and Butt is undisputable, they manufactured no-balls to order.

    Shafqat Rana is the only decent and honest member of the management team with genuine love for his country. He should stand firm against these cheats and show this behaviour will not be tolerated. Alternatively management can claim the players involved are “suffering from stress” and cannot play. This has the same effect as suspension but saves face if allegations cannot be proven (although not much left to prove, the video evidence is clear).Recommend

  • sunny
    Aug 31, 2010 - 6:51PM

    Agree – this is the best article I have read on the unfortunate furore.

    As has also been said, I feel very sorry for 18yr old Mohammed Asif – if ever there was a justifiable case of ‘only following orders’ in sporting miscreancy this is it. yes Recommend

  • Abdullah
    Aug 31, 2010 - 7:53PM

    PCB please accept the truth that you are responsible for it. why you didnt put strict rule on players so this matter dosent happen. also why are you keeping good players off ground like Zulqarnain haider. PCB you are 100 % to be blamed and need a restructuringRecommend

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