Mushtaq hits out at Border~~s bribery claims

Published: Friday, July 14, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Sydney:Thirteen years after Allan Border alleged that Mushtaq Mohammad offered him a one million pound bribe to lose an Ashes Test, the former Pakistan captain said the Aussie great's claims were nothing but lies, which tarnished his reputation beyond repair.

''I respected him a great deal as a player and the way he played his cricket, and he was a hero to my sons,'' Mushtaq has written in his just released autobiography 'Inside Out', excerpts of which were published in the 'Daily Telegraph' here.

''That was the reason I approached him for the autographs in the first place. But I have lost respect for him as a man because he damaged my reputation and integrity,'' he further said.

The former Pakistan captain, who played 57 Tests from 1959 to 1979, said Border was not telling the truth when he made those claims and his allegations left him baffled.

''If I wanted to do anything like that, which I never would have, I would have done it in my playing days when I might have had more influence.

''I retired in 1979 and I am supposed to have tried to fix a game in 1993, after 14 years? It's laughable,'' he writes on referring to the fifth Ashes Test at Edgbaston, Birmingham in 1993 during which he allegdly made the offer to Border.

Media reports, which came out two years after the incident, said the former Aussie captain, who is now the chairman of selectors, angrily refused the offer and Australia went on to win the match after successfully chasing the 120 runs set by England.

Mushtaq, who is also the former coach of Pakistan, however, refuted the claims saying that the only thing related to match-fixing which came up in his conversation with Border was the 1981 Headingley Test when Australia were bowled out for 111, chasing 130.

''As we all know now, Dennis Lillee and Rodney Marsh had a bet against their own side with ridiculously high odds and made a lot of money from what was a pretty miserable result for them,'' he wrote.

''So I said, with Marsh and Lillee in mind, 'What would you do if someone offered you big money to lose this Test match?' He just laughed it off and said he had never played his cricket like that.

That was it. I never had any intention of inviting him to fix the match and he didn't take it that way,'' Mushtaq added.

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