Pak players went out of their way to entertain Majeed brothers
Major (retd) Khawaja Javed Najam, former security manager of the Pakistan cricket team, today revealed details of how Salman Butt and Kamran Akmal violated team regulations to entertain bookmaker Mazhar Majeed in their hotel room during the tour of England last summer.cricket Updated: Jan 09, 2011 15:50 IST
Major (retd) Khawaja Javed Najam, former security manager of the Pakistan cricket team, on Sunday revealed details of how Salman Butt and Kamran Akmal violated team regulations to entertain bookmaker Mazhar Majeed in their hotel room during the tour of England last summer.
As the six-day hearing of the International Cricket Council's anti-corruption tribunal entered its fourth day, Najam, in his statement to the tribunal in Doha, said that some of the players went out of their way to maintain links with the Majeed brothers -- Mazhar and Azhar.
Interestingly, Najam also revealed that he caught Butt and Kamran holding a meeting with Azhar in Wahab Riaz's room, the player who was also questioned by the Scotland Yard after the 'News of the World' first broke stories about Pakistan players' involvement in spot-fixing last August.
He also mentioned that a national selector was also present in the room at that time in England.
Wahab was also shown in a video giving his jacket to Mazhar outside a restaurant in London and then taking it back.
Mazhar in his statement to the undercover reporter of the 'News of the World' claimed that the jacket was exchanged because he put 10,000 pounds into it and passed it on to Wahab as part payment for the spot-fixing exercise during the fourth Test at Lord's.
Najam stepped down as security manager before the team left for New Zealand citing issues with some board officials.
Testifying before the ICC tribunal, which is hearing the spot-fixing charges against Butt, Mohammad Aamir and Mohammad Asif, Najam said that he had suspected the constant presence of the Majeed brothers with the Pakistan team on different tours.
Najam also confirmed that despite repeated warnings, some of the players refused to distance themselves from the Majeed brothers.
"After being spotted in London, the brothers were told to leave the hotel room in 30 seconds," he said.
"The Majeed brothers were seen during the World T20 in the West Indies and the players were told to stay away from them," Najam said.
"When I saw Azhar in Riaz's room in London, I asked the fast bowler to bring him out. Kamran Akmal and Salman Butt were also sitting with them. When Azhar came out, one of the national team selectors also accompanied him and said he wanted match tickets from Riaz."
Najam said that the selector saw Azhar out of the hotel while Salman and Akmal apologised for the breach.
Najam also said that he was present when the police raided Butt's room and found valuables worth Rs 5.9 million. While £250 were said to be given to him by his agent, Butt said that the rest of the stuff – including two expensive watches – was part of his sister's dowry.
"His body language was very tense and he was speaking very loudly [when he was being questioned]," Najam said.
First Published: Jan 09, 2011 15:47 IST