An officer of International Cricket Council's Anti-Corruption Unit grilled former Pakistan Test batsman Mansoor Akhtar for over an hour here on Friday over his reported approach to Umar Akmal to spot-fix during the recent Canadian Global League. Steve Richardson made an unexpected appearance at the National Stadium on Friday where Mansoor Akhtar was called for questioning/interview.
Mansoor, who has played 19 Tests and 41 ODIs for Pakistan, has been accused by Umar Akmal of approaching him during the CGL and making an offer to spot-fix during the tournament. Mansoor, who was part of the management of one of the franchises, has denied the accusations by Umar who reported the matter to the ICC and the organisers.
The 62-year-old Mansoor had remained underground after that. Though he is now based in the United States, speculation was rife that Mansoor had returned to Karachi soon after Umar's accusations were reported in the media. Richardson did not make any comments to the media but he is also expected to meet Umar in Lahore.
"We don't know what took place in the meeting but the ICC officer had called Mansoor to the stadium and he spent over an hour with him," a source in the PCB said. Pakistani players have in recent years been involved in spot-fixing scandals with Muhammad Asif, Muhammad Aamir and Salman Butt serving five-year bans for corruption from 2010 to 2015 while Test leg-spinner Danish Kaneria has also been banned for life by the ECB for his role in spot-fixing in English county cricket.
Pakistan batsman Sharjeel Khan last month completed a five-year ban for spot-fixing in the Pakistan Super League in 2017. Half of his ban period was suspended by a Anti-Corruption Tribunal of the Pakistan Cricket Board. Umar Akmal has been questioned by the PCB and ICC ACU officers in the past as well after making claims that he was asked to under-perform during the 2015 World Cup and in a super sixes game in Hong Kong.
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