Launching yet another scathing attack on ICC, Pakistan's High Commissioner to Britain Wajid Shamsul Hasan said by dropping Mohammad Aamir from the list of its' annual awards nominees, the body has strengthened his apprehensions that "there is a rat in the whole affair".
In a statement issued here last night, Hasan said the removal of Aamir from the list of nominees for ICC's 'Emerging Player of the Year' award violates the principle of "innocent until proven guilty".
"I have learnt that ICC has taken cricketer Mohammad Aamir's name off from the list of 'Players of the Year.' What happened to the general principle of law 'innocent until proven guilty'," Hasan said.
"After the shocking, arbitrary and high-handed suspension of the three Pakistani cricketers through the ICC's uncalled for action, nothing is coming to me as a surprise. Rather, my apprehensions that there is a rat in the whole affair are being strengthened. It is emerging as a fishy situation where pieces have now started falling in place to convince me that there is more than meet the eyes," he said.
The Pakistani diplomat termed the International Cricket Council's action against the tainted trio as "malafide and sinister" and said it was done to cover up its own wrongdoings.
"As I said in my Thursday's statement that after the request by the three players to PCB, through me, for their voluntary withdrawal from playing in the current tour until their names have been cleared and their honour vindicated, ICC's action was not only in a bad taste but was also self-serving, malafide and intriguingly sinister," Hasan said in the statement.
"I would rather add that ICC's hasty decision was aimed at covering up its own acts of omission and commission. Its notice to the players appears to have been aimed at influencing the legal process and to prejudice the ongoing police investigation," he said.
He said the cricketers would continue to cooperate in the investigation process but lamented that the investigators and ICC did not consider it appropriate to share the details with the Pakistan Cricket Board, which is a party to the entire matter.