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19th-Jun-2015

Zimbabwe's Sikandar Raza takes shot at media over 'bribe' claims

By Agency

Zimbabwe's batting mainstay Sikandar Raza took a shot at the media for dampening the significance of his team's tour to Pakistan by insinuating that the visitors had been 'paid out'.
Zimbabwe became the first Test team to tour Pakistan since terrorist attacks on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in March 2009, suspending all international cricket in the country. But days after the series ended, reports in the media revealed that the Zimbabweans had been paid $12,500 each for the series.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shahryar Khan responded to the reports by saying that the payments made to visiting players were part of an overall deal with the Zimbabwe board and not 'bribes' as the media hadsuggested.
The Sialkot-born Raza, who was one of Zimbabwe's top performers in the landmark series against Pakistan, said cricketers had "every right to earn a livelihood" and the media should instead focus on why players like Brendan Taylor were forced to give up international cricket.
 "To be fair, no one has the right to know how much someone gets paid. These are all confidential matters," the 29-year-old said in an interview with Pakpassion.
"The only person who knows what the exact payments are my father and I. This is how confidential this is but is it really anyone's business?"
"If people are so interested in knowing about these payments then why do they have no interest in our match fees which are pretty low? No one seems to take that on as an issue," Raza said, hinting at team mate Brendan Taylor's decision to sign a three-year Kolpak deal with English county Nottinghamshire, a move which makes him ineligible to play for the national side while that contract is in effect.
Raza said cricketers receiving compensation for playing should not be an issue twisted in the media.
He said the series was part of a bilateral agreement which will see Pakistan tour Zimbabwe also.