Spot-fixing controversy February 25, 2011

Hameed banned for NOTW interview

ESPNcricinfo staff

Yasir Hameed, the Pakistan batsman, has been banned by the PCB from domestic cricket for his interview with an undercover reporter from News of the World in the immediate aftermath of the spot-fixing controversy.

In the interview, Hameed had discussed the fall-out of the Lord's Test, the Sydney Test against Australia early last year and a possible approach by a bookie. The precise length of the ban has not been specified but it is thought to apply only to the ongoing Pentangular Cup and the domestic T20 championship that will follow. He has also been fined Rs.300,000 (US$3,500 approx).

Nadeem Sarwar, the board spokesperson, said Hameed had been banned "for his spot-fixing allegations against some national players in a newspaper interview last year". Hameed has always denied making any allegations, claiming that he merely repeated what the tabloid had already reported.

At the time Hameed said he was duped by the investigative reporter who came to him in a hotel in Nottingham as a representative from a global airline to discuss possible sponsorship deals, but apologised to the PCB immediately after. "I was trapped into it but I should not have said all that before a stranger and I apologise to all the players who were hurt because of that," he had said.

Hameed was also summoned to the Pakistan High Commission in London to explain his utterances during the sting operation, and he recently lodged a formal complaint against NOTW with the UK's Press Complaints Commission, accusing them of inaccurate reporting, breach of privacy, misrepresentation of character and harassment. He also alleged that the man, an Abid Khan, had sent him intimidating SMSs after the meeting once Hameed had denied what had been attributed to him.

Hameed, 32, represents Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province in the Pentangular Cup. The ban is the result of an investigation into the matter by the PCB's recently-constituted Integrity Committee, in front of which Hameed appeared last month.