Was surrounded by match-fixers: Shoaib Akhtar

Pakistani former cricketer Shoaib Akhtar. (File Photo: IANS)

New Delhi:  Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar said that he was surrounded by match fixers in the national team during his playing days. In comments made on a television show, Shoaib said that he felt he was playing against “21 players – 11 theirs and 10 ours.”

Akhtar was talking about the 2010 spot fixing scandal which resulted in then Pakistan captain Salman Butt and pacers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir getting lengthy bans.

“I was always of the belief that I can never cheat Pakistan, no match-fixing. I was surrounded by match-fixers,” Akhtar said on the show Rewind With Samina Peerzada. “I was playing against 21 people – 11 theirs and 10 ours. Who knows who was the match-fixer. There was so much match-fixing. (Mohammad) Asif told me which all matches they had fixed and how they did it.”

The 44-year-old said that he was livid when the matter came to light. “I tried to make Amir and Asif understand. What a waste of talent. When I heard about this, I was so upset that I punched the wall. Pakistan’s two top bowlers, smart, intelligent and the two perfect fast bowlers were wasted. They sold themselves for a little money,” he said.

Akhtar retired from international cricket in 2011. He was not active in Test cricket when the scandal broke out, having played his last Test match in 2007.