England's appointment of their spin bowling coach, Mushtaq Ahmed, has come under scrutiny after the International Cricket Council confirmed it had advised the England and Wales Cricket Board against employing the former Pakistan international because he was implicated in a corruption scandal as a player.
Haroon Lorgat, the ICC chief executive, said it had warned the ECB over its recruiting of Mushtaq at the start of last year but that the England hierarchy had proceeded with the appointment of the 40-year-old.
Mushtaq was implicated in the report on match-fixing compiled in Pakistan by Justice Qayyum 10 years ago and Lorgat said the ICC had contacted the ECB about former Sussex spinner, who is not with the England squad before the forthcoming Twenty20 and one-day games against Pakistan but will rejoin them later this autumn to prepare for this winter’s Ashes series.
“We highlight anybody we’ve got on a list who has been labelled in one way or another, so I wrote to the ECB and issued them with a cautionary suggestion that they had to do due diligence on Mushtaq. But they were satisfied with the appointment,” said Lorgat. “We suggested they had to be vigilant around their own changing rooms. We at the ICC do not employ people who have been tainted in the past but the ECB are entitled to make their own decisions.”
Qayyum’s report, published in 2000, stated: “There are sufficient grounds to cast strong doubt on Mushtaq Ahmed. He has brought the name of the Pakistan team into disrepute by associating with gamblers. This commission therefore recommends he be censured, kept under close watch and be not given any office of responsibility in the team or on the board.”
England have always expressed unwavering belief in Mushtaq’s fitness for office and Andy Flower, their team director, did so again yesterday.
“I am very comfortable with Mushtaq. He’s been a good coach, a good example to our players and support staff, and I’m looking forward to him working with us again when he joins us in Australia.
“We’re very comfortable working with Mushy. He’s a lovely man and a good man for our system,” he said.