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Shahid Afridi reveals that he was aware of 2010 spot fixing before the scam broke out

The biggest revelation was that he was aware of the grave violations made by teammates Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif.

Salman Butt
Salman Butt of Pakistan. (Photo by Hamish Blair/Getty Images)

Former Pakistan cricketer Shahid Afridi’s autobiography, named ‘Game Changer’, is true to its name as the revelations have shed light on controversies. Not only did Afridi reveal his real age in the book but also took a dig at the former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir. Yet it wasn’t the most controversial revelation.

In his book, the biggest dug up was that he was aware of the grave violations made by teammates Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif that brought about the 2010 spot-fixing disgrace. Before the scandal broke out in open, the then captain Afridi had informed the team management about the malpractices of the infamous trio.

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However, the management refused to take any action causing frustration for Afridi and he eventually stepped down from Test captaincy. Following that he even retired from Test Cricket. “Yes. For the record, I gave up. I quit,” Afridi wrote in his book.

An excerpt from his autobiography was published by the ESPNCricinfo wherein Afridi wrote that he was somehow aware of suspicious conversations between player agent Mazhar Majeed, who was at the centre of the scandal, and the trio that was charged guilty during the 2010 Asia Cup in Sri Lanka.

Afridi explained how he found evidence of the conversations

“I got hold of the original evidence in the racket — phone messages that would eventually come into play against players involved in the spot-fixing controversy,” he says. “When I took that evidence to the team management, what happened next didn’t inspire much confidence in those tasked with managing and running the affairs of Pakistan’s national cricket team.”

“Before the Sri Lanka tour, Majeed and his family had joined the team during the championship. At one of the Sri Lankan beaches, Majeed’s youngest son dropped his father’s mobile phone in the water and it stopped working. Majeed gave the phone for repair to a shop whose owner was a ‘friend of a friend’. While fixing the phone, the shop owner, when asked to retrieve the messages came across Majeed’s messages to players of the Pakistan team. Though he shouldn’t have seen what he did, it was that leak from him to my friend and a few others (whom I won’t name) that looped me in the scam,” the former Pakistan skipper added.

Afridi expresses his frustrations against the team management

Further on in the “Game Changer” Afridi explained how he tried to inform the Pakistan team officials about conversations, but no action was taken. “When I received those messages back in Sri Lanka, I showed them to the then coach of the team Waqar Younis. Unfortunately, he didn’t escalate the matter. Both Waqar and I thought it was something that would go away, something that wasn’t as bad as it looked, just a dodgy conversation between players and Majeed, at worst. But the messages weren’t harmless banter — they were part of something larger, which the world would soon discover,” the former Pakistan captain says.

“Frankly, I don’t think the management gave a damn. It still was nobody’s problem; that’s why nobody wanted to tackle it or go to bat for it. Typical obfuscation and delay tactics; the Pakistani management’s head was in the sand, ” he concluded.

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