I was approached by bookies in India, SA: Akhtar

Updated: 15 April 2008 12:21 IST

In a sensational revelation, banned Pakistani pacer Shoaib Akhtar said he was approached by match fixers during tours of India and South Africa.

I was approached by bookies in India, SA: Akhtar
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Karachi:

In a sensational revelation, banned Pakistani pacer Shoaib Akhtar on Wednesday said he was approached by match fixers during tours of India and South Africa but insisted that he never took up their offer of under-performing for money.

"I have rejected many offers to under-perform. It happened in Johannesburg and India but I never accepted them as I can't betray my country," Akhtar said in an interview to Geo TV.

"And what do I get in return a five year ban the example of which you don't get anywhere in the cricket world. Even players who were fined and found involved in match fixing issues didn't get such bans," a bitter Akhtar, who was handed the ban by the Pakistan Cricket Board for indiscipline on Tuesday, added.

The controversial fast bowler, who will play for the Kolkata team in Indian Premier League, said he had been signed up on the insistence of former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly.

"If I had been so indisciplined and had an attitude problem as the Pakistan board claims do you think that Shahrukh Khan or Ganguly would want me to play for their team in the IPL," he stated.

Shoaib also said that he got a million dollar offer from the rebel Indian Cricket League but didn't accept because the board wanted him to play in the Indian Premier League.

"I could have gone to the ICL right away but I didn't because I love my country and I can't think about not playing for the national team," he said.

Topics : Cricket Pakistan
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