I suffered a lot due to my convictions

Published: Tuesday, June 6, 2000, 18:23 [IST]
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Dhaka: Aamir Sohail was one of the few outspoken cricketers of Pakistan. He had to pay a price for his open statements on the match-fixing issue. Dropped from the Pakistan team, Sohail still dreams of staging a come back.

"Only I know the kind of things that I have had to face because of my convictions. I strongly feel that I still have a lot to offer to the team with a bat in my hand," the left-handed Pakistani opener said in an exclusive interview. The following is an excerpt of the interview.

Are you happy with the outcome of the Qayyam committee report and the action taken by the by the Pakistan Cricket Board?

Not at all. To say that I am disappointed would be an understatement. You cannot catch the sharks involved in match-fixing by casting your net so close.

Do you feel let down?

I feel a bit tired. Only I know the kind of things that I have had to face because of my convictions. My family too has gone through a lot. I had told the Qayyam Commission everything I was aware of.

Are you paying the price for speaking the truth?

I now tell everybody: Beware, never dare to speak the truth. I have lost my place in the Pakistan team for speaking up. My career is in ruins. But, I must say, the real hero has been Rashid Latif. He has lost everything and still he hasn't given up his crusade.

But, some cricketers have been punished.

Yes, very few. Salim Malik and Ata-Ur-Rehman. Everyone knew what Malik was up to. There is little sympathy for him, but Ata-Ur too has been banned for life. That is unfortunate.

Were you actually ever offered money to play badly?

Yes. Just once. Malik was the captain then. Everyone knows about that offer. It came through an unknown person. I immediately informed our coach Intikhab Alam. No one tried to approach me again.

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