BCCI on Friday admitted that Irfan Pathan was approached by a 'stranger' a few years back and said the pacer had done the right thing by informing it to the team manager. The 'stranger' is suspected to be a bookie.
Pathan did not disclose when exactly the incident happened and which team he was playing against at that time but said expensive gifts were sent to his hotel room during a series, reportedly in Pakistan in 2006, and he brought the matter to the team manager's notice.
"I was in a team hotel when a stranger approached me. He sent three expensive gifts to my room. He later sent me two more expensive gifts. I thought it was wrong as I didn't know this person. I reported to the team manager who then alerted the ICC Anti-Corruption and Security Unit Officer," Pathan said.
BCCI Finance and Media Committee Chairman Rajiv Shukla said Pathan had done the right thing by informing the matter to the team management. "That's the normal procedure. What he (Pathan) had done was a normal procedure," Shukla said when asked about this.
"If any stranger approaches any player they should be very careful. I think Irfan has done the right thing (by reporting to the team management," he added. Shukla said that Indian players have been given awareness sessions by the ICC ACSU on how to go about it if they are approached by strangers.
"We keep on organising sessions by ICC Anti-Corruption Unit for the benefit of players. There they are taught that they should be away from such things ... if any stranger approaches them to offer some consideration ... they should maintain a distance from that person and report it (to the team management)," said Shukla. "Players worldwide can be approached but it is the players job to maintain distance from these people," he said.
Pathan said he never saw the "stranger" again and is proud to have reported the matter to the concerned authorities promptly. "I haven't seen the stranger since then. I think I have done the right thing and I am proud of it.
As a player you are expected to report any such thing as per the code of conduct," said the 25-year-old, whose last Test appearance for India was in April 2008 against South Africa.
Pathan's disclosures came amid the raging spot-fixing controversy which has led to the suspension of the Pakistani trio of Test skipper Salman Butt and pacers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamir.
The three players were provisionally suspended by the ICC for allegedly conspiring to bowl no balls to order during the Lord's Test against England last month.