Disowning the startling match-fixing accusations he has made against his Pakistan teammates, opener Yasir Hameed has claimed that he was tricked into giving the statements and later blackmailed to stand by them.
Hameed, in a video released by British tabloid News of the World, is shown accusing his teammates of fixing almost "every match" Pakistan has played.
But the batsman denied giving any such interview to the tabloid and said the undercover reporter who spoke to him posing as a sponsorship agent sent him intimidating text messages to stick to the comments shown in the video released yesterday.
Hameed was summoned to the Pakistan High Commission in England for a meeting with High Commissioner Wajid Shamsul Hasan in London yesterday. After the meeting, the Pakistan Cricket Board's legal advisor Tafazzul Rizvi released a statement on behalf of Hameed.
In the statement, Hameed said that he was offered money and even blackmailed to stand by the remarks attributed to him in the video which he claims was shot without his knowledge. "I would like to respond to comments attributed to me by the News of the World today.
I wish to stress I have never been approached by the NOTW and neither did I approach anyone connected with the News of the World to disclose any allegations concerning the Pakistan cricket team or any other players," Hameed said in his statement. Hameed claimed that he was having dinner with a friend at the Holiday Inn Nottingham on the evening of Monday August 30 and was approached by a man who introduced himself as Abid Khan and offered to arrange a sponsorship deal for him (Yasir) with ETIHAD Airways.
"I have now seen a photograph of the so called Abid Khan and have discovered that he is Mazhar Mahmood (NOTW's undercover reporter). "Naturally I was interested in what he had to say and we began a conversation. He offered me at least 50,000 pounds for the deal, which was for 6"x3" ETIHAD sticker at the back of the cricket bat plus TV and billboard advertisements in the UAE," he said.
"He also asked me for names of 4 more players who may be interested in a similar deal I thought of Umar Gul, Shahid Afridi, Umar Akmal and Fawad Alam," Hameed added.