'I was framed and blackmailed': Hameed

Published: Monday, September 6, 2010, 15:57 [IST]
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'I was framed and blackmailed'

Karachi: Taking back his match-fixing accusations against his Pakistan teammates, Pakistan opener Yasir Hameed has claimed that he was framed and later blackmailed to stand by his accusations.

Hameed, in a video released by British tabloid the News of the World, is shown accusing his teammates of fixing almost "every match" Pakistan has played.

But the batsman denied giving any such interview to the tabloid and said the undercover reporter who spoke to him posing as a sponsorship agent sent him intimidating text messages to stick to the comments shown in the video released yesterday.

Hameed was summoned to the Pakistan High Commission in England for a meeting with High Commissioner Wajid Shamsul Hasan in London yesterday.

After the meeting, the Pakistan Cricket Board's legal advisor Tafazzul Rizvi released a statement on behalf of Hameed.

In the statement, Hameed said that he was offered money and even blackmailed to stand by the remarks attributed to him in the video which he claims was shot without his knowledge.

"I would like to respond to comments attributed to me by the News of the World today. I wish to stress I have never been approached by the NOTW and neither did I approach anyone connected with the News of the World to disclose any allegations concerning the Pakistan cricket team or any other players," Hameed said in his statement.

Hameed claimed that he was having dinner with a friend at the Holiday Inn Nottingham on the evening of Monday August 30 and was approached by a man who introduced himself as Abid Khan and offered to arrange a sponsorship deal for him (Yasir) with ETIHAD Airways.

"I have now seen a photograph of the so called Abid Khan and have discovered that he is Mazhar Mahmood (NOTWs undercover reporter)."

"Naturally I was interested in what he had to say and we began a conversation. He offered me at least 50,000 pounds for the deal, which was for 6"x3" ETIHAD sticker at the back of the cricket bat plus TV and billboard advertisements in the UAE," he said.

"He also asked me for names of 4 more players who may be interested in a similar deal I thought of Umar Gul, Shahid Afridi, Umar Akmal and Fawad Alam," Hameed added.

"I also called Umar Gul during this conversation to tell him about this potential contract deal and he agreed that I should continue with the negotiations," Hameed said.

"Then Abid Khan started asking about the current match fixing allegations and as I saw him as a friend and a potential agent, I naively started to answer his questions. He asked me about the match fixing allegations against the current three Pakistani players and if I had any further knowledge. As far as I can recall I only told him whatever I had already read in the newspapers about this matter," Hameed stated.


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