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Imposter posing as ex-Pak cricketer appears on BBC as expert


London: An imposter posing as a former Pakistani cricketer has duped the BBC into paying him to appear as an expert on cricket shows and even took part in a discussion involving ex-Indian batsman Aakash Chopra.

Nadeem Alam posed as ex-batsman Nadeem Abbasi to give his “expert” opinion on BBC World News, BBC Asian Network and Radio Five Live, despite only ever playing cricket for his home town of Huddersfield.

He even took part in a discussion with former Indian batsman Chopra, who is now retired and regularly appears on cricket chat shows for expert comments.

Abbasi, furious about the fraudster’s deceit, has decried the BBC for failing to check its facts.

“If I ever find Nadeem Alam, I will punch him in the face for damaging the country’s reputation. The BBC is a big institution and surely they must check?” he told the Sun newspaper.

Abbasi, a wicket-keeper batsman, played in three Tests for Pakistan in 1989.

The 46-year-old, who now coaches a team in Rawalpindi, said that his only media appearance was on Pakistani television during the World Cup in 1996.

Abbasi’s Wikipedia page was also tricked by Alam’s actions, with part of his biography reading: “Abbasi is now a freelance journalist and appears regularly on the BBC Asian Network and Radio Five Live.”

Alam, however, told the daily that he is “no longer pretending to be Nadeem Abbasi”.

“I like to think I have been talking good cricket,” he said.

The BBC has apologised and launched an inquiry.

“We apologise to the real Mr Abbasi and we will be looking seriously into what has happened,” a BBC spokesman said.

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