Pak cricketers kept contact with bookmakers despite PCB ban

Last Updated: Dec 29, 2010, 21:43 PM IST

Karachi: Some Pakistani cricketers constantly defied PCB and team management orders not to mix up with bookmaker brothers Mazhar Majeed and Azhar Majeed on several foreign tours in the last few years, a report said today.

According to a report in `Jang` daily, former security manager of the national team, Major (retd) Javed Najam and ex-manager Yawar Saeed had warned some cricketers to stay clear of Majeed brothers because of their suspicious
activities but the players did not pay heed and instead invited them to their rooms and hung out with them.

"The two brothers particularly Mazhar Majeed was staying in the same hotel as the Pakistan team on practically every tour that the team made this year including to Australia, the West Indies for the Twenty20 World Cup and last year in Sri Lanka," the report said.

It said that Najam, who recently retired as security manager from the Pakistan Cricket Board, had informed the PCB about the constant interaction of some players with the two brothers.

"In the West Indies when I saw Mazhar staying in the same hotel as the team I asked him who he was and what he was doing in St Lucia. He did not have a convincing answer and just said he was a fan of the Pakistan team. I reminded him that St Lucia was pretty far from London," the report quoted Najam as informing the board in a report.

The spot-fixing scandal that broke out in Pakistan`s tour to England in August led to the suspension of three players, Salman Butt, Muhammad Asif and Muhammad Aamir after the `News of the World` tabloid did a scoop.

The newspaper in a video shot with Mazhar Majeed had him claiming that he had bribed the three players to do spot fixing in the fourth Test against England at Lord`s.

Mazhar also made more claims about how he had fixed other matches in connivance with some players. In a latest video shown on `Geo News` channel in Pakistan, Mazhar claimed he had seven players working for him.

The `Jang` report said that the team management was wary about the constant presence of the Majeed brothers on all tours and in Sri Lanka the players were told in clear terms not to invite them to their rooms.

"But a few players still invited Mazhar to their rooms and also went out with him for dinners and entertainment," the report said quoting a source.

The report said that in England Najam had a confrontation with Azhar Majeed in the team hotel and warned him not to visit the players or he would have him thrown out by the security staff.

"The players kept on insisting that the two brothers were their agents and had made some lucrative deals for them," Najam was quoted as saying.