The Pakistani Ambassador to the UK, Wajid Shamsul Hasan, has told reporters that he believes the three Pakistani cricketers (Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif) at the centre of the corruption scandal that has rocked the game, were ‘set up’.
The Ambassador suggested that the shocking News of the World video which seemed to record a Pakistani fixer, Mazher Majeed, accepting a £150K bribe to get the Pakistani players to bowl three no-balls had been made after the events on the field. It is an astonishing suggestion.
It is one thing to rightly point out that the players have not been officially found guilty of anything yet and that we should all await the results of the ongoing investigations. It is quite another thing to suggest that this is all the result of some massive anti-Pakistani conspiracy. The Ambassador must surely be aware that there will be records of the dates and times when phone calls were made and the hotel rooms in which the meetings with the NotW undercover reporter were booked etc.
So instead of crafting a dignified statement to the effect that Pakistan will await the results of official investigations and reassure the cricketing world that it will take prompt action if necessary to punish any wrongdoing found, Wajid Shamsul Hasan chose the comfort of lazy conspiracy theories.
Meanwhile, in the real world, the International Cricket Council has officially charged the three Pakistani cricketers with a number of offences and suspended them from playing. In addition, Scotland Yard is set to re-interview the three players again later today and reports suggest that criminal charges could follow.