Under-fire former national wicketkeeper Khaled Mashud answers questions about his involvement in spot-fixing at a city ground yesterday. PHOTO: STAR
A day after being accused of introducing cricketer Mohammad Ashraful to a bookie by a Bengali Daily, former captain Khaled Mashud termed the allegations against him as 'baseless' and 'untrue'.
Speaking to reporters in Dhanmondi, Mashud said, “It is totally baseless. We toured many countries during our playing years and were introduced to many people, but it's not possible to remember all of them. It is unfortunate for someone to misuse these relations today.”
“There is nothing wrong in getting introduced to people. What matters is how the person uses you. And I'm sure I never introduced anyone who had bad intentions to Ashraful. How will I know if a person is a bookie or not? ” he added.
The former wicketkeeper also demanded that an investigation committee to be formed.
“On what grounds did the paper publish the report? Ask them to produce the proof. I know (Khaled) Mahmud, (Mohammad) Rafique and I were never willing to give up a match. There needs to be a thorough investigation. ” said Mashud.
According to the report a bookie by the name of Javed was introduced to Ashraful by the three former cricketers on the eve of Bangladesh's 100th ODI played against India in 2004. Ashraful's 41-ball 28 ensured that Bangladesh score 60 runs in 15 overs, a task which was reportedly dictated by the bookie, the report said.
Referring to that incident Mashud said, “If we needed to fix that match then Ashraful would have been opening and not playing at number four.”
He also stated that the Anti-Corruption and Security Unit had questioned him regarding the BPL, but disclosing anything would be a breach of his agreement with the body.
With regard to Ashraful's alleged involvement in spot-fixing in the Bangladesh Premier League he said, “I think Ashraful was trapped. It can happen that the Gladiators owners asked him to lose the match in order to get the payment for his services. Being young, he thought that at least he would get his wages but he did not understand the overall implication.”
Several reports published this week stated that the Dhaka Gladiators were involved in spot-fixing during the second season of the BPL and that Ashraful played a part in it. On Friday, a story published in Bengali daily Prothom Alo alleged that Mashud, Mahmud and Rafique had introduced Ashraful to fixers at different points in the batsman's career. Both Rafique and Mahmud denied the allegations on Saturday.