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Spot-fixing: Haider claims big names

Press Trust Of India
Feb 14, 2011 at 07:20pm IST

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Karachi: Claiming that there are some very big names involved in the match-fixing racket, Pakistan's runaway wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider said banning the three Pakistani players, Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir for spot-fixing is just the tip of the iceberg.

"There are some very big names involved in these illegal activities, but they are getting away with it as thorough investigations are not being carried out," Haider told a website in an interview.

Haider, who is in London, waiting for the UK authorities to give a decision on his request for asylum in the country, also dismissed a statement by ICC chief executive, Haroon Lorgat that he was confident that the upcoming World Cup will be free from corruption.

Haider claims big names involved in fixing

Asif, Amir and Butt are just the tip of the spot-fixing iceberg said Zulqarnain Haider.

"I was surprised by the statement by the ICC Chief Executive saying that the World Cup will be clean. The fact of the matter is that the three recently banned players (Asif, Amir and Butt) are just the tip of the iceberg.

"There are bigger names than the three banned players who are still involved in fixing in cricket, not only from Pakistan but from other nations as well."

Haider fled to London from the Pakistan team hotel in Dubai last November during a one-day series against South Africa, claiming he was threatened by an unknown person of dire consequences if he didn't cooperate in fixing matches in the series.

He landed in London to seek asylum but a fact-finding committee of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), which probed into the circumstances leading to his decision to leave the team, said it had found the wicketkeeper to be an unstable and temperamental individual.

The committee also rapped Haider for not reporting the threats to the team management and taking them into confidence.

Haider who is yet to reveal details of the spot-fixing mafia in international cricket said that after the bans on the three Pakistanis, other players are going to be even more careful now.

"I know they are watching their backs and attempting to make it even more difficult for the ACSU and ICC to catch them out. I am ready to name and shame them, if asked by the relevant authorities."

Haider insisted he gave up everything in cricket because of the involvement of such elements in cricket.

"I had a promising career ahead of me and I sacrificed it all, but I don't have any regrets and my mission now is to clean up the game. I am prepared to do anything to help in totally cleaning up cricket.

"I was mocked and ridiculed by some after leaving the series in the UAE against South Africa, but after the verdicts in Doha, I feel vindicated. However, this is just the start. The net has to be widened and it has to be widened across other countries in addition to Pakistan."

Haider felt that a new organisation needs to be created by the ICC, specifically to address the issue of overseeing cricketer's finances.

"The three players who were recently banned for spot-fixing were only caught because of a tip-off. It wasn't down to the ACSU initiating investigations or producing any evidence through their team of investigators. It was simply down to an individual tipping off the News of the World who then passed their files to the ICC.

"The ACSU were reactive rather than proactive and have limited powers and is a weak organization," he stated.

Haider though doesn't just feel that international cricket needs to clean up its act but also tournaments such as the IPL and the ICL.

"I feel that in addition to international cricket cleaning up its act, tournaments such as the ICL and IPL need to be closely watched. Players who have taken part in those tournaments also should have their bank accounts thoroughly investigated."

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