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Akram calls for independent members to probe Asif case

cricket Updated: Jun 24, 2008 22:41 IST

PTI
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Former Pakistan skipper Wasim Akram has advised the Pakistan Cricket Board to appoint independent members in the inquiry committee, probing the Mohammad Asif detention case.

Akram told reporters today that the presence of all Board officials in the three-member fact finding committee would make their inquiry a subject of controversy and scrutiny.

"It would have been better for the Board to have appointed three independent members from outside the board to find out what really happened with Asif," Akram said.

"The Asif incident obviously was an embarrassing episode for Pakistan cricket and the truth must come out. But it would be hard to accept the findings of a fact finding tribunal that has board members in it.

"People will question the committee's findings even if they are not biased and honest. I would still advise the board to review the make-up of this committee," the former left-arm pacer added.

The PCB has appointed its senior officials, Shafqat Naghmi, Zakir Khan and Nadeem Akram on the committee, which has been asked to submit its findings within two weeks time so as to decide whether Asif should face any penalties for the incident.

Asif was detained by authorities at the Dubai airport on June 1 and released on June 19 after the public prosecutor decided not to press any charges against him.

The lanky pacer was detained after authorities recovered a small quantity of a contraband item from his possession while he was on his way back home after playing in the inaugural IPL tournament.

Asif, later, claimed that the contraband substance which was recovered from him was actually an Ayurvedic medicine given to him by a local Hakim to cure his elbow injury.

The committee will submit their recommendations to the Board after going through the official documents which they have got from Dubai and the findings of the prosecutor.

However, the PCB made it clear that Asif is unavailable for selection in the national side until the committee gives him a clean chit.

Akram stated that he was happy to see that Pakistan was hosting a major international event after a long time and the successful hosting of the tournament would help the Board convince other nations for a smooth and peaceful organisation of the Champions Trophy later this year.

"Hosting the Asia Cup would be a big boost for Pakistan cricket specially when there is so much issues raised by visiting teams," he added.

Akram said the Asia Cup would be a closely contested tournament as Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka are teams of equal strength and balance in One-day cricket.

"You can't pick any favourites because all these teams can win on a given day and even Bangladesh are capable of causing upsets as they have done in the past," he stated.