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Afridi will testify in spot-fixing case

KARACHI: Pakistan’s limited-overs captain Shahid Afridi will testify at a hearing of players suspended for alleged spot-fixing despite believing he has nothing to add to his earlier testimony, a report said Monday.

Shahid Afridi NewsAfridi has been summoned to appear before the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) anti-corruption tribunal for a hearing of charges against Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer, in Doha from January 6-11.

Salman, Asif and Aamer were suspended over claims of spot-fixing during Pakistan’s Lord’s Test against England in August and face severe punishment, including lengthy bans.

Both Afridi, along with team coach Waqar Younis and security manager Khawaja Najam, who will also attend the Doha hearing — made statements to the ICC Anti-Corruption Unit last month.

According to Pakistani media, these statements link the suspended players to alleged bookmaker Mazhar Majeed and allege that large sums of money were confiscated from the players’ hotel rooms.

Afridi reportedly said he had not lied to the ICC, and had given a full account of what he had witnessed during the team’s tour of England.

“I have already said what I had to say and what I saw,” Afridi was quoted as saying by Pakistani daily Jang on Monday.

“I could not have lied before the ICC because they already had enough information about the case.”

Afridi said he would participate in the hearing by teleconference and not attend in person because of family problems. Waqar is expected to participate by telephone as he is on tour with the Pakistan team in New Zealand.

The ICC tribunal, headed by Michael Beloff QC, is likely to use Afridi, Waqar and Najam as witnesses in the light of their statements last month.

Afridi said he had no animosity towards any player.

“I have a clean conscience… I was asked about Majeed (the alleged bookmaker) and his brother Azhar (Majeed) so whatever I knew I told the ICC,” said Afridi.

Pakistan’s tour of England last June to September was hit by a sting operation arranged by British tabloid News of the World, which claimed that several players took money from a bookmaker to perform specific acts during the Lord’s Test, such as bowling a no-ball.

Scotland Yard then raided the Pakistani team’s hotel and reportedly confiscated money from players’ rooms and later interrogated Salman, Asif, Aamer and a fourth player, Wahab Riaz, who was not suspended.

The ICC provisionally suspended the three players on September 3.

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