Wed, Sep 08, 2010 - Page 20 News List

Pakistan players aware of dangers of fixing: Afridi

AFP , CARDIFF

Pakistan one-day captain Shahid Afridi insisted on Monday his players had been educated by officials over the dangers of corruption as the “spot-fixing” row engulfing his side rumbled on.

Some pundits have questioned whether Pakistan’s players have been made properly aware of the risks of possible corruption.

But Afridi, speaking to reporters at Sophia Gardens here on Monday ahead of the second Twenty20 international at the ground scheduled to begin yesterday, said: “The people are coming from the ICC [International Cricket Council] and they are always talking about these things.”

“If you have any problems, you definitely go straight to the [team] manager and talk to him. I think we all know about these things so I think the people from ICC are doing their work,” he said.

Pakistan Test captain Salman Butt and bowlers Mohammed Aamer and Mohammed Asif have been suspended from the international game after Britain’s News of the World tabloid allegedly caught Mazhar Majeed, a London-based businessman, organizing no-balls to order during last month’s Lord’s Test against England.

England paceman Stuart Broad played alongside Asif at English county side Leicestershire and earlier on Monday said he was such an admirer of the seamer’s skills he’d planned to speak to him ahead of England’s defense of the Ashes later this year about how to bowl in Australia.

But asked if he sympathized with the situation the Pakistan team found themselves in as a result of the allegations, Broad replied: “Sympathy? No.”

“At the end of the day as cricketers you’ve got one job and that’s to perform on the pitch. There’s always distractions in international cricket, probably more than most this week,” said Broad, a member of the England side that beat Pakistan by five wickets in Sunday’s first Twenty20 international here.

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“The Pakistan team, there’s a lot of hype around them at the minute, but at the end of the day that’s not our problem. We’ve just got to go out there and try to win,” he said.

Turning to Asif, Broad added: “It’s a difficult position and hard to comment on. He’s a lovely fellow, I got on really well with him and he’s obviously a world-class bowler.”

“He talked about getting close to the stumps and bowling wicket to wicket. He was fantastic to learn from. Throughout this series I was saying to him, ‘At the end of this series I would like to have a chat with you about Australia,’ because he got a six-for [six for 41] in Sydney [in January]. But with him being left out of the squad now, it’s probably not going to happen,” Broad said.

Broad, 24, said players were well informed about the dangers of “fixing.”

“We’re very educated on this sort of anti-corruption stuff. I don’t think any player could ever have an excuse — ‘I didn’t know,’ or ‘We weren’t educated,’” said Broad, who added most of his information on the subject had come from officials rather than his father Chris, a match referee and former England opening batsman.

“The amount of books I’ve got from the ICC at home, full of information — there’s certainly no excuse as players,” he said.

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