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‘Tough to lift team morale’

Pakistan cricket coach Waqar Younis on Tuesday admitted that it will be difficult to lift the morale of the team for the remaining tour matches in the midst of the spot-fixing controversy.

cricket Updated: Sep 01, 2010 00:25 IST

Pakistan cricket coach Waqar Younis on Tuesday admitted that it will be difficult to lift the morale of the team for the remaining tour matches in the midst of the spot-fixing controversy.

The players under the scanner are captain Salman Butt, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir after they allegedly under-performed in the fourth Test between England and Pakistan.

“We will try to get the team up again and make sure that we deliver in the next few games. That’s all I can do.”

“There is no doubt it is a big challenge. I will try to make the most of it and I’ll try to make sure everybody is nicely focused on the games,” Waqar was quoted as saying by The Telegraph. Pakistan are scheduled to play two T20 games and five one-day internationals.

British tabloid The News of the World earlier conducted a sting operation where England based alleged match-fixer Mazhar Majeed was caught accepting 150,000 pounds to fix no-balls during the last Test.

Give accused a fair chance, pleads Imran

Karachi: Pakistan’s former cricket captain Imran Khan today pleaded for the cricketers accused in the spot-fixing controversy in England to be given a fair chance to clear their names, but said if the allegations came out true it would be a “big setback”.

“I think the initial impact of this new fixing scandal has shocked all of us but I think it would be unjust to brand these players as fixers without first giving them a fair chance to defend themselves,” Khan said.

“I would like to see them given a fair chance to give their side of the story before we reach conclusions.”

Imran was also clear that if the players were found guilty then they should not be spared.

“But first let’s be clear about this whole thing because it is not fair to jump to conclusions”.

Imran had no doubt that if the allegations were proved true it would be a great tragedy for Pakistan cricket. “It would be a big setback because we will lose many of our match winners and that definitely would be a big shock to our cricket.”

The former captain who led Pakistan to a World Cup victory also feared that if there was truth in the fresh fixing allegations it would have a negative impact on the entire sport.

Ironically on the same day another former captain and great, Javed Miandad urged the Pakistan board to call back the players from England who have been accused of fixing.