Former Pakistan off-spinner Akram Raza has protested his innocence after being arrested during a raid on a bookmakers den.
Raza, 46, was granted bail and will appear in court next week after Pakistani police in Gulberg, Lahore [ Images ] charged him and six other people with running an illegal betting ring and taking bets on the Indian Premier League [ Images ].
"I am innocent. It was a set up. I have hired a lawyer to fight these ridiculous charges against me," Raza told Reuters from Lahore on Tuesday.
Police raided a plaza on Saturday night, arresting seven people for running the betting ring and recovering computers, mobile phones, cash and telephone numbers.
"I don't know who is behind this and why but I will prove my innocence. I will also be writing to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to inform them of my innocence," Raza said.
Raza played nine Tests and 49 one-day internationals and is now a first-class umpire. He was one of six players fined in 2000 by a judicial commission which held an inquiry into match-fixing in Pakistani cricket.
"I have already suffered enough in the past and now I don't want my umpiring career damaged," Raza said.
A senior PCB official of the PCB said the incident clearly warranted an inquiry.
"We have still not got any official report on the incident. But it does warrant an inquiry to find out the truth," Sultan Rana, head of the PCB's domestic cricket department, said.