Afridi hopeful of positive end to spot-fixing saga

Last Updated: Oct 11, 2010, 22:18 PM IST

Islamabad: Pakistan`s one-day and T20 captain Shahid Afridi hopes that the three cricketers reportedly involved in spot-fixing will come out clean in the International Cricket Council (ICC) inquiry.

Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer are currently under suspension by the ICC for allegedly taking money from a bookmaker in London to bowl no-balls in the Lords Test match against England.

In an interview, Afridi said: "The players are going to appear in the hearing in Qatar, and hopefully their innocence will be proven."

"I am sure no player of the current team is involved in such practises", he said, referring to the squad for the forthcoming series against South Africa.

"Young players are often ignorant of their surroundings and fall prey to bookmakers," he said, adding that "there was no need for such ill-gotten wealth when the players could earn handsomely from sponsorship deals and other endorsements".

The T20 captain said he had spoken about his suspicions on alleged bookie brothers Azhar and Mazhar Majeed to the team management after hearing from several people.

"The young team needs support at this crucial juncture and the same set of players will produce winning results," he said.

Responding to a question about the England tour, he said: "It was the most difficult in my 13-14 year career. When I reached there to take charge of the squad for the one-day and T20 leg, the situation was quite worse."

"It was a big achievement to win even two games in such trying circumstances," Afridi said.

"It`s a team game and everybody should pull together to achieve desired results," he said.

"There is no use indulging in a blame game after something has happened."

Afridi conceded that he acted in haste in announcing retirement from Test cricket, after the defeat to England in the first Test.

"It would have been better had I waited for the second Test match," he said.

Afridi returned to the Test squad after a four-year break only to go into retirement after defeat in the first match.

PTI