Lord’s was gloomy on Sunday. “In more ways than one,’’ said a Sky Sports commentator, referring to the cloud of match-fixing and not the dark overhead cover in London. “These clouds have always been there over the Pakistan team,” claims Veena Malik, a famous Pakistan film and TV star. Malik is better known as Mohammad Asif’s estranged girlfriend.
If Malik is to be believed, the controversial fast bowler, currently under investigation for spot fixing, was always involved in such activities. The actress reveals that before the Pakistan team flew to Australia last year, Asif had made a sudden visit to Bangkok to meet certain bookies. “Since his comeback, he is totally involved in this. Once he told me that the entire Pakistan team is involved. From head to toe, the Pakistan players and officials are involved,’’ Malik told DNA on Sunday.
Giving details of Asif’s Bangkok visit, she said, “One day, he got business class tickets and went to Bangkok. He told me that he was offered $40,000. I advised him not to be part of such activities but he did not listen. Instead, he went ahead and demanded $200,000 from them.’’
Veena, however, doesn’t know how much Asif was eventually paid. “I was not there in Australia and I do not know in what way he was involved. However, later on, it came to light that the Australia series was fixed. The PCB has evidence of this,’’ she remarked. The actress told this paper she provided Asif’s travel details to the Pakistan Cricket Board.
According to Malik, Asif used to get calls and texts from certain people and he would call them from his servant’s phone. The actress is also sure that Asif is associated with persons of the Indian betting syndicate.
She also alleged that Asif, who was caught for doping during IPL1, bribed some well-known people to get his ban reduced to one year. ‘’He borrowed $3 million from me to pay to certain people to have his ban reduced to one year (from two years). You should investigate who the person is.’’
Malik added that Asif was told by his bookie friends that they expected him to bring in more people as “one person’s involvement alone will not help”. “He was initially not friends with Mohammad Aamer. Now I understand that they are good friends.
These two (Asif and Aamer) and Salman Butt are a close unit. And as for Kamran Akmal, every one knows about him,’’ Malik said.
PCB officials were not immediately available for comment.