ICC official to speak to Akhtar
An ICC Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) official is reportedly in Pakistan to speak to banned pacer Shoaib Akhtar on his claims of being approached by match fixers during tours of India and South Africa but the country's Cricket Board has refused to deny or confirm any such development.
According to a local channel here, the official is in Lahore to probe the claims made by Akhtar. But, given the secrecy the ICC and its ACU maintain on match fixing, gambling and betting related issues, no one is willing to confirm or deny the report.
The report said the unnamed officer interviewed Pakistani players Younis Khan and Umar Gul on Monday although manager Talat Ali was not available to confirm or deny the story.
When contacted, PCB Chief Operating Officer Shafqat Naghmi said Colonel Nur, the ICC security officer in Pakistan, was the right man to speak on the matter.
Nur, on his part, was adamant that unless he had clearance from the ICC, he would neither confirm or deny the report on the television channel.
The response from the ICC office was a firm "We can't comment on ACU related issues". The ICC has officially said that its officers would talk to Akhtar for his statements on a television show that he was offered money to under-perform in matches on several occasions but he turned them down.
ICC Code of Conduct states that any player who fails to report an approach to fix games or under-perform to his captain, team manager, board or ACU officers may face a minimum ban of one year and maximum of five years. Akhtar never reported these approaches to any team official, the board or ACU officers.