Fixer approached Afridi
Shahid Afridi (Gallo Images)
London - Returning Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi claimed Saturday he was approached by now imprisoned players' agent Mazhar Majeed on several occasions, but refused to speak with him because of "suspicions".
Majeed, along with former Pakistan test captain Salman Butt and two other players, was handed a prison term by a London court Thursday for their roles in fixing parts of the Lord's test against England last year.
Afridi, who handed captaincy to Butt after losing the first test to Australia on the same tour last year, said Majeed had tried to befriend him.
"He always tried to contact me personally in the hotel and wanted time to meet me but I avoided him all the time because I had my suspicions that he was not trustworthy and involved in betting," Afridi said in a interview with Pakistan private television Express.
Majeed during his testimony revealed "it was tough to lure Afridi."
Afridi also rejected Majeed's claims that some players were fixing matches under his captaincy.
"I never felt that any player was doing something wrong and deliberately trying to let me down. I would have been the first man to throw them out and deal with it strongly," said 31-year-old Afridi.
In London last week Butt was handed a 30-month sentence, Mohammad Asif 12, Mohammad Amir six and their agent Majeed 32 months respectively for their roles in the fixing affair.
The sentencing follows cricket bans handed down to the players at an International Cricket Council (ICC) disciplinary hearing in Doha, Qatar, in February this year. Butt was banned for ten years (five suspended), Asif for seven years (two suspended) and Amir for five years.
All three players have filed appeals against their bans at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Following last week's sentencing, Afridi said he felt sorry for 19-year-old Amir.
"Amir is a great talent and I believe because of his age he was trapped into this scandal," said Afridi of Amir, who was sent to youth offender's institution in Feltham, England.
Afridi was recalled to Pakistan's one-day squad to face Sri Lanka later this month, coming out of self-imposed retirement.
Afridi fell out with coach Waqar Younis and also with now replaced Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ijaz Butt after he was replaced as one-day captain in May this year.