In a spectacular revelation, former Pakistan fast bowler Rana Naved-ul-Hasan said that certain members of the team deliberately underperformed in 2009 against New Zealand, as a conspiracy against the then captain Younis Khan.
“We lost two ODI matches against New Zealand in UAE during 2009 because some of the players involved deliberately did not play well, and I sat out that tour,” Naved is reported to have told a Pakistani news channel, according to Cricket Pakistan.
“I did not play because I had told Younis Khan that this was the conspiracy against you and that I am also a part of that plot.”
Naved said that senior members of the side were involved in it, probably as a result of their own personal ambitions to lead the side, before going on to explain how the saga unfolded, including an “oath of allegiance”.
“Some seniors, and I won’t name names as they may have had aspirations of being captains themselves, got us involved in this whole affair as well to further their aims. We were about seven to eight people involved in this,” he said.
Zaheer Abbas has joined the calls for corruption in cricket to be criminalised in Pakistan.
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“We were all called into a room and an oath of allegiance taken and the people in that room were some big names of Pakistan cricket. If I mention those names, then they will get angry with me.”
Naved said that none of the players had a personal issue with Younis, it was just that many felt Younis had changed as a person after becoming captain, particularly in his totalitarian tendencies, which did not sit well with some of the players.
“This was not a rebellion against Younis Khan. He was a good cricketer and I did play alongside him, so there were no issues, except that when he became captain, he became a different person,” Naved said.
“They [the rebelling senior players] said we don’t want him to be removed, but we would like the PCB chairman to reason with Younis Khan as he does not take the advice of seniors as captain and does what he feels likes doing.
“I went along with this thinking that if this is the only matter and the PCB chairman tells him that, then I don’t have an issue with this.”
Pakistan opened the tour with a massive 138-run victory in the first ODI, but New Zealand won the next two to clinch the series. However, the home team bounced back to claim the two-match T20I series 2-0.