On Nov 30, Mazhar Majeed, the UK-based bookmaker who was at the heart of the spot-fixing scandal in September, came up with the names of four more Pakistan players whom he alleges are also imvolved in fixing international matches apart from the suspended trio of Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir.
The Pakistan-based TV news channel Geo News claims to have received a video recording of Majeed in which he mentions the names Umar Akmal, Wahab Riaz, Imran Farhat and Kamran Akmal as the additional players on his pay-roll who were helping him commit spot-fixing.
The video also supposedly has Majeed claiming that senior players like Younis Khan, Shahid Afridi and Abdul Razzaq wre not guilty of any untoward dealings, while also mentioning that Seed Ajmal was a very religious man.
Geo News quoted Majeed as saying in the recording that he only persuaded younger players to join his net in accordance with an elaborate plan for the future, rather than waste his efforts on senior players who were perhaps nearing retirement.
After a New of the World sting implicated Butt, Asif and Amir as being involved in a spot-fixing incident during the fourth test against England at Lords, the International Cricket Council (ICC) took swift action and provisionally suspended the three players, while subsequently setting January 6 to 11 as the period when a tribunal will look into their culpability. Meanwhile, Scotland Yard is also investigating the NOTW video.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has in sense responded to the development as it has left out Kamran Akmal and Imran Farhat for the forthcoming tour to New Zealand. Surprisingly however, the PCB has included Umar Akmal and Wahab Riaz in the team.
The PCB has been consulting it's New Integrity Committee, in accordance with whose advice the board drops certain players who bear serious allegations to their name. Leg-spinner Danish Kaneira for instance, was not given clearance to play in the Test series against South Africa in the UAE because of his alleged involvement in spot-fixing while playing for Essex, in England couty cricket.
Kamran Akmal, for his part, had earlier claimed that Majeed was just an agent for the players and they did not know he was a bookmaker we well.