The Pakistani cricketers' cup of woes seems to be spilling over as British detectives have got hold of audio tapes in which some of them are heard discussing 'spot-fixing' with bookies during the Twenty20 World Cup in the West Indies earlier this year.
Sources in the team in England have revealed that when Metropolitan detectives questioned the Pakistani players suspected of taking bribes from arrested bookie Majeed Mazhar to do 'spot-fixing' in the fourth Test against England at Lord's, they were also questioned about their telephone conversations during the Twenty20 World Cup.
"The detectives have audio tapes confirming that some players used to speak to Majeed in which they discussed spot fixing in some World Cup games," a team source said.
He also disclosed that Pakistan's one-day captain Shahid Afridi had warned the touring team management to keep the
players away from Mazhar and Azhar Majeed on the current tour of England.
The source said Afridi asked manager Yawar Saeed and assistant manager Shafqat Rana to ensure the two brothers were
not allowed near the dressing room or the team hotel.
"Shahid told the management that he suspected Mazhar and Azhar were linked to bookmakers and were corrupting players
particularly Salman Butt and Kamran Akmal," the source said.
The source said Afridi felt that the two brothers one of whom, Majeed, who is now in the custody of the Metropolitan
police in London, was always in touch with the players.
"Yawar didn't pay heed," the source said. The source said Afridi also decided to retire from Test cricket after the first Test defeat to Australia at Lord's because he was uncomfortable with the close ties some players had with the two brothers.
"Maybe Shahid got a whiff of things to come and decided to step aside," the source said. The source said the influence of the two brothers was so strong in the team that some players also didn't want Afridi to continue as one-day and T20 captain after he retired from Test cricket.