Shoaib Akhtar blames low pay for match-fixing

Published Oct 05, 2012 06:34pm

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-Photo by AFP

NEW DELHI: Controversial former Pakistani fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar said on Friday the cricketers are being tempted into fixing matches because they are underpaid by their board.

“Fixing happens in our culture because there's less money, there are even lesser opportunities. Cricketers victimised by their boards return (to the team) to mint money,” Akhtar, 37, told the Headlines Today news channel.

“In 2008, I had no money to even buy a car. I had to borrow money from a friend. I handled it, others go astray.

“Your friends ditch you, (the cricket) board doesn't back you. They all run you down. So when you return you think 'let me teach them a lesson'. Some are corrupt, but some cricketers are turned into criminals by the system.”

Three Pakistani stars, Test captain Salman Butt and pacemen Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif, were jailed last year after being found guilty of spot-fixing during the 2010 Lord's Test against England.

It was the first time international cricketers were handed prison sentences, a scandal described by then-ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat as the worst corruption case since the Hansie Cronje episode.

Former South African captain Cronje, who died in 2002, was banned from the game for life in October 2000, six months after New Delhi police accused him of taking money from a bookie during his team's Indian tour that year.

“We (in Pakistan) don't have much money in cricket. I wasn't playing for India you know. I was an elite star, still after playing for 14 years I only made seven-eight crore rupees ($1.35-1.54 million),” said Akhtar.

Akhtar, whose career was marked by allegations of drug abuse and ball-tampering, bagged 178 wickets in 46 Tests and 247 in 163 one-day internationals between 1997 and 2011.

“I was cleared on all drug charges,” he said.


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Comments (16) (Closed)


aisha
Oct 06, 2012 08:27am
haha.. in a country where an engineer gets paid 15-25 k and a doctor only 10-15 K these guys make millions and he doesnt have enough to buy a car. perhaps he spent it all on bars an night clubs. ever since hes retired hes thinking of himself as a saint.
Sada-e-hind
Oct 06, 2012 04:01am
Can't believe that shoaib has only that much money
shafeeq
Oct 06, 2012 06:28am
i agree with you.
Allaisa Xuver
Oct 06, 2012 11:46am
Most Government servants in Pakistan will have made may be 500,000 rupees in fifteen years and this guy made during the same time 80,000,000 rupees and he complains. I guess he thinks it is OK if all the Government employees are corrupt!
Rehan
Oct 06, 2012 05:42am
Jago PCB ..... Jago Channels .... Jago Pakistan ..... Jago Siyasatdano .... PCB to intervene and get rid of Akmal Brothers, Afridi, Malik and Nazeer once and for all..... Channels stop patronizing players who have been involved in scandals and match fixing...... Pakistan, do not patronize products featuring our Dud players..... Siyasatdano, stop favourtisim ..... It is not the question of loosing but its how you loose that matters....you go down fighting till the last ball I am sure there will be few criticism from all quarters and people will not feel let down or dejected... In Pakistan team,, everybody is for himself....
Sandy
Oct 06, 2012 03:54am
sad..
Mr.T
Oct 06, 2012 06:59am
Great bowler no doubt, It's not the matter of low paid salary it's the matter of greed, once greedy always greedy. For Example look at pakistani lords what they don't have but are they stopping for more ?
ozair mustafa
Oct 06, 2012 10:02am
Shoaib think before you speak , do not issue sweeping statements.You are surely better off than millions.Now speaking of money even Indians cricketers can coplian when they compare themselves with soccer or tennis players of west.
Nadeem
Oct 06, 2012 05:01am
No excuses! Shame, after making millions claiming to be under paid.
Cyrus Howell
Oct 06, 2012 01:11am
Cricket players are underpaid compared to whom? Can we compare them to footballers in the English Premier League? If I played any professional sport it would always be for the love of the game first and the money second. In sports today too many players are in it for the money all over the world. Shoaib Akhtar knows now he was foolish, but the truth is that there is always another fast bowler coming just around the corner. His punishment is he will always miss the game. He needed to keep his eye on the ball, not the new luxury car. Why not then take up international golf or international tennis instead? Cricket is a team sport, and to win consistently the players must play as a team. Every victory is a shared victory. Even those who are special, who are superstars, blend in. All we can say is that cricket used to be a gentleman's game, and hope it can be again.
Mohammed Baluch
Oct 06, 2012 06:12pm
Shoaib Akhtar was such a sight to behold when at his peak - he would have been making millions of dollars a year if he had been a superstar in any other sports, or even if he had been playing cricket in some other country. People who are begrudging him making a few crores during his cricketing life are so way off target - they do not have a clue of the value of champion sportsmen to their countries. What other entity projects Pakistan as positively as our cricket team does on the international arena? We should treasure our talented sportspeople - and embed sports in all aspects of our lives to neutralize the toxins of other philosophies so rampant in our backyard.
Salman Naveed Butt
Oct 06, 2012 07:05pm
There are more than hundred thousand doctors and engineers in your country but there aren't as many superstars as him. Players and every professional tends to juxtapose efforts, success and returns with his counterparts from both same and other professions which is what that creates motivation or lack of it. If Bala gee can earn millions for his mediocrity then Akhtar and like deserves trillions for their dexterity and class.
Shabib
Oct 06, 2012 10:11pm
Shoaib is totally out of context here. In a country where highly qualified professional are grossly underpaid he expects cricketers to mint money. Anyways nothing justifies illegal and morally corrupt practices the cricketers indulge in
Minhas
Oct 06, 2012 03:36am
Is shoib aware what is the average salary in Pakistan? The. Cricketer were still making more money if they did any other work Pakistan. It was only Packer from Australia that changed the monetary benefits for the cricketers. Prior to that there was no corruption in cricket and it was a gentle men's game. It seems S Akhter gets his bread and butter from across the border and Pakistan cricket board is not giving him any contract as we are all aware his bad habits of the field. Bad habits die hard and he is another Sarfraz nawaz who said in a live interview that we are going to celebrate with few drinks and it is known fact that Shoib did not follow any rules and and it was only the junior cricketer who had set bed time.
Truth
Oct 05, 2012 10:02pm
The first sensible thing he has ever said!
Raw is War
Oct 06, 2012 05:20am
Sad.