Karachi, June 12: Muhammed Amir had confessed to spot-fixing only after then ODI skipper Shahid Afridi slapped the fast bowler while Salman Butt was involved in corruption much before Pakistan's ill-fated tour of England in 2010, claimed former all-rounder Abdul Razzaq.
Spilling the beans on the scandal which tarnished the image of Pakistan cricket, Razzaq narrated the Aamir incident while speaking to the GNN news channel. "He (Afridi) told me to leave the room but after a while I heard the sound of a slap and then Aamir told the whole truth," Razzaq said.
The all-rounder also blamed the then PCB set-up for bringing bad name to Pakistan cricket. "I thought instead of going to the ICC to prove its efficiency, the PCB should have instead directly taken the three players to task despite their denials and sent them back home on some pretext. They should have banned them for a year or so. In the end by not doing this, the PCB spoilt the image of Pakistan cricket worldwide."
Razzaq, 39, also claimed that Butt was deliberately getting out and playing dot balls much before the scandal broke out in England. "I shared my concerns with Afridi but he said it is just my Waham (misconception) and nothing is wrong. But when I was batting with Salman Butt during a match of the World T20 in West Indies, I was convinced he was letting down the team."
Razzaq recalled he told Butt to take a single and give him the strike but he did not pay heed to his advise. "I was surprised when he refused this strategy. When I realised what he was up to (something) I told him strictly to give me the strike. Yet every over he deliberately played two or three balls and then gave me strike. I got upset and felt the pressure and got out."
Butt, Aamir and Muhammad Asif were the three players eventually banned for a minimum of five years in early 2011 by the ICC's anti-corruption tribunal after they were first suspended in September 2010. All three have now returned to playing cricket after completing their five-year bans. But only Aamir has been considered and picked for the Pakistan national team and is presently competing in the World Cup.