The ghost of match-fixing is back to haunt Pakistan cricket with reports emerging that Umar Akmal was approached to fix matches during a 2012 tour of the UAE but the batsman immediately reported the matter to his team’s security manager.
A source aware of the incident told PTI that Umar had been called up regularly by a number from India in which the caller thrice attempted to coax him into entering a fixing racket promising him lucrative returns for his cooperation.
“Umar after being pestered by this unknown caller informed the Pakistan team’s security manager who brought the matter into the notice of the ICC’s ACSU immediately,” the source disclosed.
He said Umar’s prompt action and cooperation in reporting the approach was much appreciated by the Pakistan team management and the ICC ACSU at that time.
The source said the approach was made during the Pakistan and England series in the UAE in 2012.
“Umar was part of the Pakistan Test squad in that series which Pakistan won 3-0 and also of the one-day squad that Pakistan lost to England,” the source stated.
This is the not the first reported incident where a Pakistani player informed the team management about approaches by suspicious characters on tour.
All-rounder Shahid Afridi had also raised the alarm on the 2010 tour to England when British bookmaker Mazhar Majeed became close to some players.
Mazhar and three Pakistani players — Salman Butt, Muhammad Asif and Muhammad Aamir — were later found guilty of spot-fixing during the fourth Test at Lord’s.
The source said such attempts to coax players was not uncommon despite the strict security and disciplinary measures put into place by the Pakistan Cricket Board nowadays.
“Most of the players prefer to just ignore such approaches but eventually the team management does come to know about them,” the source added.
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