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‘Was surrounded by match-fixers’: Shoaib Akhtar opens up about fixing saga of Amir, Asif, Butt

Mohammed Amir made a successful return to international cricket, but Asif and Salman Butt never managed to find their feet on a cricketing field again.

SNS | New Delhi |

Opening up about match-fixing scandal of Mohammed Amir, Mohammed Asif and Salman Butt, former Pakistan cricketer Shoaib Akhtar said he felt like he was surrounded by match-fixers.

“I was always of the belief that I can never cheat Pakistan, no match-fixing. I was surrounded by match-fixers. I was playing against 22 people, 11 theirs and 10 ours. Who knows who was the match-fixer. There was so much match-fixing. (Mohammad) Asif told me which all matches they had fixed and how they did it,” Akhtar said on a Pakistani talk show ‘Renewed With Samina Peerzada.

Pakistan cricket was pushed down the black alleys of uncertainty and turmoil when the match-fixing news had broken out. The trio was handed a five-year suspension by the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) anti-corruption tribunal.

Recalling the time, 44-year-old Akhtar said that he was hurt and angry when he had heard about the fixing for the first time. On being asked what did he think was their reason to take the steps, the former pacer said, “They sold themselves for a little money.”

“I tried to make Amir and Asif understand. What a waste of talent. When I heard about this, I was so upset that I punched the wall. Pakistan’s two top bowlers, smart, intelligent and the two perfect fast bowlers were wasted,” the fastest-ever cricket bowler added.

Following the five-year ban, Amir made a successful return to international cricket and gained the position of Pakistan’s leading pacer bowler. However, Asif and Butt never managed to find their feet on a cricketing field again.

Only a few days back another fixing-related issue broke out and Bangladesh’s star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan was handed a two-year ban (one year suspended). Investigations revealed that he had failed to inform authorities about being approached by a bookie on various occasions in 2018.