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Irfan Pathan Shooed Off Bookie From His London Hotel Room: Media Report

Mumbai tabloid MidDay reported on Friday that Indian cricketer Irfan Pathan was approached by a bookie in his London hotel room during the fourth Test against England, but Pathan reported this to higher authorities immediately.The
PTI September 17, 2010 11:03 IST
PTI
Mumbai tabloid MidDay reported on Friday that Indian cricketer Irfan Pathan was approached by a bookie in his London hotel room during the fourth Test against England, but Pathan reported this to higher authorities immediately.

The report says: it is the story of two star cricketers -- Irfan Pathan and Mohammed Asif -- one from India and the other a Pakistani. Both had several things in common. Apart from being good bowlers, they shared modest backgrounds, and grew up the hard way.

Pathan grew up and honed his cricket skills on the streets of Baroda in Gujarat. Asif, on the other hand, played gulli cricket in Sheikhupura on the Punjab side of Pakistan.

Mohammad Asif is now charged by the ICC under their anti-corruption code, over alleged irregular behaviour in relation to the fourth Test against England.

Disgraced Asif allegedly accepted the bait offered by Mazhar Majeed. Pathan stood his ground as an honest cricketer and refused to succumb to temptation. According to sources in the ICC, Pathan was regularly approached by an unidentified person while he was in London.

The stranger claimed he was one of Pathan's ardent admirers and stalked him regularly in the hotel lobby.
Actually, the ICC should have spotted the stranger who stalked Pathan. These are some of the methods used by match fixers to trap cricketers.

"Once you accept a bribe, it is over. Then, everything falls in place," said a cricketer who wishes to remain anonymous.

After a few days of exchanging pleasantries, the stranger arranged to send a consignment of cricket accessories to Pathan's room. He told the fast bowler that it was a token of appreciation from him.

The goods wrapped in packages could be worth a few lakh in the European market.

A distraught Pathan rushed to inform the matter to a star senior cricketer, who asked him to report the matter to the manager, who in turn informed the ICC. He was asked to keep off the package as it was suspected of containing deadly explosives.

The incident also points to the able leadership in the Indian team. Clearly, what the Pakistani cricketers lacked in Mohammed Asif's case.

Nobody really knows what happened after the matter was reported to the ICC's anti corruption unit.