Sarfraz Ahmed defends cricketers photographed with a match fixer in Al Jazeera documentary

The documentary showed Aneel Munawar photographed with Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina and Umar Akmal amongst others.

Sarfraz Ahmed
Sarfraz Ahmed. (Photo Source: ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

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Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed defended the number of cricketers who were photographed with notorious match fixers in a new Al Jazeera documentary. Fresh claims of spot-fixing have once again jolted international cricket following a documentary which was released on Sunday by the Emirates-based news organisation.

In its documentary, Al Jazeera showed photographs of Aneel Munawar, a Dubai-based match-fixer, and his associates hovering near and purportedly speaking to high profile international cricketers such as Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Graeme Swann and Chris Gayle during the World T20 in Sri Lanka in 2012. The channel, however, has made it clear that there is no suggestion of these players being indeed involved in any wrongdoing.

Moreover, there was footage of Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman receiving and peering into a bag which was apparently handed to him by Munawar associates. Nevertheless, there is no evidence of Akmal leaving with the bag, and the channel also doesn’t know what were the contents of the mysterious bag.

Cricketer can’t be at fault here

Speaking before the first of three T20Is between Pakistan and Australia in the UAE, captain Sarfraz Ahmed said, “If someone comes to you to take a photograph with them and later it is found that this person is corrupt, then its not the fault of the player to be in a picture with him”.

In May 2018, the channel had released the prequel to this documentary where it explained how spot-fixing was carried out and how it was rife in the sport. In the latest claims, the channel said that a number of players from England and Australia were directly contacted by Munawar to fix certain sections of matches, but has refused to reveal their identities while Interpol carries out its investigations. Lawyers representing the ECB and Cricket Australia have however said that there was no evidence to support the claims.

Meanwhile, the ICC has repeatedly requested Al Jazeera to share the footage with them, but have reportedly had no cooperation from the channel.

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