Cricket

Asif's ex gets death threats

2010-09-21 10:17
Veena Malik (AFP)

Islamabad - The former girlfriend of Pakistan's suspended fast bowler Mohammad Asif was reported in British media on Tuesday saying she received death threats soon after meeting International Cricket Council officials to discuss match fixing.

Actress Veena Malik told British tabloid The Sun that she received an e-mail saying "don't talk to the media, keep your mouth shut...I'll kill you, watch what I do."

Officials of the ICC's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit met Ms. Malik earlier this month after she went public with allegations about Asif's activities.

Asif, Test captain Salman Butt and Mohammad Amir have been suspended by the ICC over spot-fixing allegations.

The actresses' allegations came amid a broadening corruption scandal enveloping Pakistan's ongoing tour of England. Asif, Butt and Amir were suspended after allegations that an agent took money for organizing the players to bowl no-balls at prearranged times in order to fix spot betting markets.

The ICC is also investigating new claims that Pakistan players deliberately manipulated the team's run scoring rate during a portion of its innings in the recent one-day game at The Oval at the behest of bookmakers.

PCB chairperson Ijaz Butt countered with his own claims that England players took payoffs to deliberately lose the match.

Butt had also termed the suspension of the three cricketers as a pretext for keeping Pakistan out of next year's World Cup in the subcontinent.

Former PCB chief Shaharyar Khan said that Butt took a "wrong step" and he should not be making such damaging allegations.

"The new comments of Butt is damaging for Pakistan cricket but I hope it will not damage our relationship with ICC," Khan told the Associated Press.

Khan said the other full members of the ICC like India and Australia do not take Butt's statements seriously.

Ms. Malik claimed Asif was in contact with someone in India to fix betting markets.

"They were offering Asif 25 000 pounds sterling ($38 849) to play badly but he said he needed 128 000 pounds sterling ($198 935)," she said.

"It was a couple of weeks before Pakistan's tour of Australia."

Australia routed Pakistan 3-0 in the Test series and 5-0 in the one-day series besides winning the only Twenty20 international.

"One day I told him I was praying for them to win. He replied, 'Why are you wasting your time? We are not going to win anything until December 2010'. When I realized what he meant, I told him it was over between us and I decided to talk about it."

Asif's career had been dogged by a string of controversies. He was sent home from the Champions Trophy in India in 2006 after testing positive for the banned steroid nandrolone.

In 2008 he was suspended from international cricket after he again failed a doping test while competing for Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League.

He was also detained at Dubai airport for 19 days when opium was found in his wallet, an offense for which he was fined 1 million rupees ($12 250) by the PCB.

Ms. Malik alleged Asif paid bribes to avoid more serious punishments.

"He also told me he handed over money to avoid a lifetime ban after failing a dope test in India," Ms. Malik said. "He said, 'Money can buy anything, money can buy everything. I paid the money and now I'm OK'."

Ms. Malik denied she was making the public allegations to get back at Asif after their relationship failed.

"It's my moral duty to speak out, it will take a lifetime for fans to trust the players again," Malik said.

"These guys think they are invincible. But they have to be punished."

Read more on:    mohammad asif
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