Pakistan news May 17, 2011

Akram Raza claims innocence

ESPNcricinfo staff

Akram Raza, the former Pakistan offspinner, has said he is not guilty of illegal betting and his arrest from a Lahore market on Sunday was a set-up. The 46-year-old Raza was released on bail on Monday after having been taken into custody along with six other men during a police raid on an suspected gang of bookmakers, reportedly taking bets on the IPL.

"I have nothing to do with the illegal betting in IPL and it was a set-up just to get me there," he told APP after his release from police custody.

Akram, who played nine Tests and 49 one-day internationals, said he went to the plaza to see some friends and as soon as he reached there, police raided the office of his friend and arrested all of them for taking illegal bets. Police, reportedly, recovered telephone sets, computers, televisions and a large amount of money.

"It is a bad incident in which I have been involved through a planned move and at this stage my career as a national umpire is at stake and I will do everything to prove myself innocent," Akram said.

"For me it is really hard to go through such a situation but I am not guilty and I will be writing to PCB through my lawyer in a couple of days to explain my point of view and to prove my innocence.

Akram was one of the six Pakistani players fined in a match-fixing inquiry conducted by Justice Malik Mohammad Qayyum in 2000.

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