Stung by the sting operation of a news channel which has implicated him in the IPL spot-fixing scandal, Uttar Pradesh cricketer Shalabh Srivastav has claimed innocence, saying that laid low by injury he was not capable of manipulating matches and only paying the price of opening up to strangers.
The 30-year-old medium pacer has 130 wickets from 41 first-class matches and 20 scalps from 22 IPL games while turning up for Kings XI Punjab.
"I am innocent and I am being framed. I have not played for UP in both the 2011 and 2012 seasons due to a knee injury.
"I have not been playing IPL matches because of this; I am not even in the squad of 15. I am in Lucknow for the past one month, so how can I fix matches?," he questioned.
"I am resting at home, so how can I promise somebody to bowl no-balls. All allegations against me are false and this is an attempt to destroy my career," he said.
Shalabh said his only fault was to consider strangers as friends and speak to them about cricket in general.
"I am not even playing, so how can I fix matches? I won't get intimidated by all this and come out clean. I will present my case in front of BCCI officials, if I am asked to. I have already spoken to KXIP officials and they have promised to support me through this," he said.