Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi has revealed that the alleged bookmaker Mazhar Majeed, who is at the centre of a spot-fixing scandal since last year, approached him and tried to befriend him several times in the past.
“He made several attempts to get friendly and close to me. But every time he tried to do this I ticked him off with some straight talk,” Afridi said.
The seasoned all-rounder said he had never trusted Majeed, who worked as agent for some Pakistani players, three of whom — Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer — have been banned by ICC for their role in spot-fixing and also face further penalties in a crown court trial, which is going on in London.
Majeed has confessed to the crown court about trying to defraud bookmakers and cheat and indulge in corruption by doing spot-fixing with the help of the banned trio during the fourth Test between Pakistan and England last year at Lords.
Afridi said the entire spot-fixing episode badly damaged the image and reputation of Pakistan cricket.
The flamboyant all-rounder, who recently announced he was available for national selection again after observing a forced retirement in protest against policies of the Pakistan Cricket Board, also said that he had forewarned the team management in England to be careful about Majeed’s link with players.
Afridi said he was looking forward to making a comeback to the Pakistan team soon and was training hard.
“I have made myself available for national selection again because of the enormous pressure on me from my supporters, fans, friends and family who wanted me to play for Pakistan again,” he said on a show in Geo News.
“Obviously there will be pressure on me to perform when I come back but I am confident because of the great support I have got from everyone in the last few months,” he added.