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Friday, January 7, 2011

Waqar Younis and Shahid Afridi join case against Pakistan spot-fix trio

Pakistan coach Waqar Younis

Waqar Younis and Shahid Afridi are expected to give evidence against the Pakistan players accused of spot-fixing when they go on trial in Qatar.
The Pakistan coach and one-day captain have been called as prosecution witnesses in the International Cricket Council anti-corruption tribunal investigating accusations that Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer took money to manipulate passages of play in the Lord's Test last summer.

The trio, who were suspended after the accusations came to light, will be tried by a three-man ICC panel headed by Michael Beloff QC in a Doha hearing that will last for six days.
They face life bans if found guilty. The players have serious legal heavyweights going in to bat for them with Asif, who has served suspensions in the past for positive drugs tests, being represented by Allan Cameron, brother of British Prime Minister David.
'My lawyer has prepared my case extensively and I hope I will be cleared,' said Aamer, the brilliant 19-year-old who looked to have a golden future before this case threatened his career. 'This is the toughest period of my life but I am confident it will soon be over and I will be playing for Pakistan again.'
Waqar and Afridi have already given statements to the ICC code of conduct commission on the affair, which came to light with a News of the World investigation that uncovered evidence alleging Asif and Aamer deliberately bowled no-balls at the instigation of Butt, the Pakistan captain.

Alleged details from those statements have been leaked and paint a revealing picture of the mood inside the Pakistan dressing room during one of the game's most serious modern crises.
After the infamous huge no-ball from Aamer, Waqar is reported to have confronted him in the Lord's dressing room. 'I was so surprised by the delivery,' Waqar is quoted as saying in his ICC statement, 'that I said to Aamer in Punjabi, "What the hell was that?"
But before Aamer had the chance to answer, Salman interrupted, saying, "I told him to do that because the batsman was coming on the front foot. I told him to come forward and bowl him a bouncer".'
The alleged leaks from Afridi's statement suggest the players 'had a guilty look' after their hotel rooms were searched by Scotland Yard officers and large sums of money uncovered. Afridi is expected to be present in Qatar to give evidence while Waqar has been allowed to appear via conference call from New Zealand.

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