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Sin at cricket’s Mecca?

cricket Updated: Aug 30, 2010 00:37 IST
Imtiaz Ahmad
Imtiaz Ahmad
Hindustan Times
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Responding to allegations that some Pakistan players had taken bribes for spot-fixing in the current series against England, Prime Minister, Yousaf Raza Gilani, told reporters that “Pakistan’s head hangs in shame”.

Former cricketer Sarfaraz Nawaz alleged there were indications that the management, including team manager and chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), might be part of the scam. “The selection of the team shows this,” said Nawaz, who called for sacking of the team and removal of the administration. Tweeting anger

Former Test captain Aamir Sohail called on PCB president, Asif Zardari, to recall the management and players against whom allegations had been made. "It is a disgrace for Pakistan cricket," said Sohail. "I don’t think this Board or management can do anything now when all this has happened under their nose. Now it is time for the president to act.” Hall of shame

President Asif Ali Zardari expressed disappointment at reports and has asked PCB chief Ijaz Butt to submit a priliminary report. Haroon Akhtar, a member of the Senate’s standing committee on sports, said the Board was to blame for the latest scandal. “The Board had promised us ... they would not spare players suspected of shady dealings but the PCB chairman went back on his word,” he said. “This is a result of the Board’s failure to take action.” Crime and punishment

Former PCB chairman, Tauqir Zia, called for “strict action” against the culprits. “The PCB should understand the seriousness of the issue and take strict action,” said Zia.

“During my tenure, the reason I made the inquiry report (by former Justice Malik Qayyum) public was to place an example for upcoming players, but the same spirit was not carried through up till now.

“We are very keen to clear our cricketers from the match-fixing scandal. I am somehow convinced that the English media has evidence,” said Zia.

‘Players in touch with bookies during T20 WC’

British detectives have got hold of audio tapes in which some of Pak players are heard discussing ‘spot-fixing’ with bookies during the T20 World Cup in the West Indies.

“The detectives have tapes confirming Majeed’s involvement in T20 WC,” said a source in the team.