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June 14, 2011
The UK Press Complaint Commission (PCC) has handed Yasir Hameed a victory of sorts by ordering the News of the World to take off from its website a video and story about the Pakistan opener in which he was seen discussing the fall-out from the Lord's spot-fixing scandal as well as an approach by a bookie in 2004.
However, the case is not yet concluded with the PCC unable to make a final ruling until the criminal trial involving Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt has been completed. "We have made clear to Mr Hameed that we are unable to continue our investigation at the moment, in light of the associated legal proceedings which, while they do not relate directly to Mr Hameed, are relevant to the matter," the PCC told ESPNcricinfo in a statement.
"The case is now on hold until the conclusion of the proceedings, at which time we will pursue the matter with the News of the World. The newspaper has removed the article from its website pending the outcome of our investigation. As such, the Commission has made no ruling at this point."
Hameed, who was part of the Test side during the 2010 tour to England but hasn't played for Pakistan since, maintained that he was duped by the investigative reporter who came to him in a Nottingham hotel claiming to be a representative of a global airline who wanted to talk sponsorship deals. Instead, Hameed became the subject of a video sting operation and was made to answer to the board's integrity committee. He apologised to the board but was barred from a couple of domestic tournaments thereafter.
Soon after the video came to light, Hameed was called to the Pakistan High Commission in London to explain his utterances in the video. He issued a statement later that day saying that the man, an Abid Khan, sent him intimidating SMSs after the meeting when Hameed denied what had been attributed to him.
Hameed eventually filed a formal complaint against the newspaper in February centred on four points, of inaccurate reporting, a breach of privacy, misrepresentation of character and harassment. He opted to wait till the end of the spot-fixing hearings and a definitive verdict before he filed the complaint. The first results of that have come now; the video and story is no longer to be found on the NOTW website.
A more detailed decision of the commission will come after the criminal trial of Butt, Asif and Amir is over; the trio are due to appear in court in October to face charges of corruption following the Lord's Test last summer, in which they are alleged to have bowled deliberate, pre-planned no-balls.
"I am very happy to have come out of this difficult situation," Hameed told ESPNcricinfo. "My only aim now is to try and fight for my place back in the Pakistan side."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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