हिन्दीಕನ್ನಡമലയാളംதமிழ்తెలుగు

Asif reinstates his hands are clean

Published: Sunday, November 5, 2000, 23:10 [IST]
 
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Dubai: Former Pakistani skipper Asif Iqbal has vehemently denied his involvement in match-fixing or betting even as he admitted that he knew Mumbai-based bookie Anil Steel, with whom, the CBI says, he had close links.Reacting to the CBI report on match-fixing and betting in which his name also figures, Asif, the co-ordinator of the Cricketers Benefit Fund Series (CBFS) at Sharjah told 'Khaleej Times' from his London residence that "Yes, I know Anil and I was friendly with him but it does not mean that I am involved in any kind of match-fixing or anything."He said "this is true that Anil used to ask me my opinion on a particular match or things related to cricket and I used to give him my opinions but there was nothing like match-fixing involved in our discussions."Asif went on to say "see, I am a retired cricketer and commentator. Nothing can stop me from expressing my opinions on a cricket match. I am not a serving player and I cannot influence the game in any respect."The 162-page report, released recently by the premier Indian investigative agency, has sent shock waves in the cricket world by naming five Indians and seven foreign players for their involvement in match-fixing.A chapter on foreign players, in the report, said Mumbai-based bookie Anil Steel claimed to have close links with Asif. Anil Steel, the bookie from Mumbai has stated that he is on very friendly terms with Asif Iqbal, the former Pakistani captain. He has also stated that he has sought 'information' from Asif Iqbal about international matches and has also given him gifts or jewellery items etc.The report said "Anil Steel has disclosed that he introduced MK (alleged bookmaker Mukesh Gupta, the central character in the CBI report), to Asif Iqbal during the World Cup inaugural ceremony at Calcutta in 1996. MK has stated that Asif Iqbal had introduced him to Jayasuriya at Sharjah, sometime in 1996." CBI had also named four Pakistani players - Wasim Akram, Saeed Anwar, Waqar Younis and Inzamam-ul-Haq - and one of its former captain Asif Iqbal and Sri Lankan Sanath Jayasuriya in the report. But no evidence of their involvement has been found. UNI

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