Others involved in spot-fixing should also be punished: Latif

Rashid Latif said that the name of Mazhar Majeed as a bookie surprised him because he was well aware of the people indulged in the dirty business Getty Images

Karachi: Oct 13, 2011

Former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif feels that those who conspired with the banned trio of Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamir in the spot-fixing scandal should also be given exemplary punishment.

“Salman, Aamir and Asif committed the crime but they were actually trapped. It was a set-up and hence the conspirators should be punished more than the players,” Latif told a news channel.

Latif said that the name of Mazhar Majeed as a bookie surprised him because he was well aware of the people indulged in the dirty business.

He suspected that Majeed, who is already a millionaire, must have charged a hefty sum of money for the “scoop” published in the now closed-down ‘News of the World’ tabloid.

“I heard the name of Mazhar Majeed for the first time, and the loopholes in the saga convinced me of something fishy,” the former wicketkeeper-batsman said.

“I am sure that Majeed and Mazhar Mahmood (the undercover reporter) are working together on a single agenda of making big money. In this controversy only two parties benefited — The News of the World and Majeed,” he insisted.

The former cricketer also feared that the judicial process that is underway in London would not yield any desired result.

“In fact it is a waste of time and money. This type of betting (on no-balls) is not done in England, therefore the case of defrauding the bookie should not be initiated in London at the first place,” Latif claimed.

“I have said it before and I am saying it again that it was a set-up by Majeed and the media organisation,” he added.

Latif revealed that on September 15, 2010, the brother of Mazhar Majeed — Azhar, sent him an e-mail and expressed shock over the development.

“There is nothing for me to tell, I don’t know what happened and how it happened — the first I heard of this was seeing my brother on TV!,” said Latif, quoting Azhar Majeed.

Latif further quoted Azhar as writing, “Just before then I was sitting with the Anti Corruption guy telling him to investigate me as I had nothing to hide and wanted to carry on with my daily business without getting crap from the PCB security. I have nothing whatsoever to do with any type of fixing.”

According to Latif, the last two lines of the e-mail were indicative of the fact that Azhar Majeed was convinced that his brother (Mazhar Majeed) was hand in glove with the undercover agent Mahmood.

He also made it clear that he didn’t share the email with the ICC as it would have been a useless exercise as he had informed the apex body many times in the past as well, however, the boards and the ICC were not willing to understand.

“Cricket boards, ICC and media should play their due role. I have no doubt that only a 30-sec delay in a live telecast could kill spot-fixing. The ICC and broadcasters should at least give it a try,” he said.(PTI)