CARDIF: Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi blasted Yasir Hameed as being mentally a teenager but the batsman insisted he was duped by a newspaper over betting scam claims which eclipsed the team's defeat to England.
One-day skipper Afridi tore into Test batsman Hameed, who claimed he had done nothing more than repeat the allegations of "spot-fixing" being faced by three Pakistan players.
The row overshadowed Pakistan's first international game since the scandal rocking the sport first erupted. They were beaten by five wickets Sunday in the first of two Twenty20 fixtures against England at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff.
Afridi said he was trying to lift his side's spirits ahead of Tuesday's second T20, and vowed to play his part in cleaning up Pakistan's reputation.
"We all know we've got to get to the bottom of this and we'll do anything as players, or management, commentators, umpires to eradicate this from the game. It's as simple as that," he said.
Britain's biggest-selling newspaper News of the World released footage of Hameed in a bar telling an undercover reporter that some Pakistan players were fixing "almost every match".
"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," he was quoted as saying.
"It makes me angry because I'm playing my best and they are trying to lose."
Following the T20 defeat in the Welsh capital, Afridi said what he thought of 32-year-old Hameed. "Mentally he is 15, 16," he said. "We have known him for a long time and we can expect anything from him. He has been doing these type of things a lot of times."
Asked if Hameed was unreliable, he replied "Yeah, the people know which type of character he is."
Hameed released an affidavit, read by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)'s lawyer outside the country's High Commission (embassy) in London. The batsman said he believed he had been talking to a potential sponsor, who turned out to be an undercover reporter.
Hameed said he was asked about the corruption allegations. "As far as I recall, I only told him whatever I had already read in the newspapers about the matter."
He said two days later the man telephoned and offered£ 25,000 to give a statement against the three players under investigation, captain Salman Butt and bowlers Mohammad Aamir and Mohammad Asif.
Hameed said he refused and put the phone down.
A report in the Telegraph states that Yasir Hameed faces being interviewed by the Anti-Corruption Unit as part of its match-fixing investigation, but his reliability as a witness was called into question on Sunday by his own team-mates.
The ACU detectives will be free to talk to Hameed as he is not part of the criminal investigation being carried out by Scotland Yard and it is likely he will be asked to explain comments made on film to an undercover reporter at the weekend during which he stated Pakistan were “fixing almost every match”.
Yasir Hameed might have backtracked on allegations of match-fixing against his Pakistan teammates but the side's captain Shahid Afridi is still livid with the opener and has ridiculed him as being mentally a teenager, said a Times of India report on Monday.
Afridi, who has apologised for the 'spot-fixing' scandal involving Pakistani players that has shaken the core of international cricket, said Hameed cannot be trusted.
"People know the type of character he is. We have known him for a long time and we know what to expect from him. He has done this sort of thing many times. Is he unreliable? Well, he is sitting with someone he does not know and gives these messages out, so, yes."
Disowning the startling match-fixing accusations he has made against his Pakistan teammates, opener Yasir Hameed has claimed that he was tricked into giving the statements and later blackmailed to stand by them, according to a Hindustan Times story.
As the spot-fixing scandal gets murkier with Hameed's video being aired, commentators add to the much debated question of the degree of punishment that should be given to players that are found guilty of corruption.
Former England captain Geoff Boycott said it was no surprise that Pakistan were repeatedly implicated in corruption scandals, as the cricket authorities had never clamped down hard enough on past cases.
The no-nonsense Yorkshireman urged the authorities to offer teenager Aamir a plea bargain. "Tell the truth about what took place and he can get off with a lighter sentence. If he won't play ball, then make an example of him," he wrote in The Daily Telegraph newspaper.
"I feel for Aamir, because any 18-year-old is likely to get dragged along by his seniors. But I still believe that he deserves a lengthy ban, seven years, perhaps, if he is shown to have bowled no-balls to order. "
"As for the others, they should be treated even more harshly, because they have no excuse."
"Pakistan must join the rest of the cricket world in deploring what happened at Lord's. There is no point them trying to turn a blind eye." he wrote.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ