Pakistan faces new spot-fixing probe
For the second time on their current tour of England, the Pakistan cricket team is having a match of theirs investigated by the International Cricket Council on the basis of a report in a UK tabloid newspaper. HT Correspondent reports.cricket Updated: Sep 19, 2010 02:45 IST
For the second time on their current tour of England, the Pakistan cricket team is having a match of theirs investigated by the International Cricket Council on the basis of a report in a UK tabloid newspaper.
Pakistan’s thrilling 23-run win over England at the Oval on Saturday is now the subject of a formal ICC investigation for suspicion of spot-fixing.
“A source informed The Sun newspaper that a certain scoring pattern would emerge during certain stages of the match and, broadly speaking, that information appeared to be correct,” said ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat.
“We, therefore, feel it is incumbent upon us to launch a full enquiry into this particular game although it is worth pointing out at this stage that we are not stating as fact that anything untoward has occurred. Only in the fullness of the investigation can that be established,” he added.
The match itself was full of twists and turns as Pakistan scored 241 and then defended it with vigour, with seamer Umar Gul picking up 6 for 42. Coach Waqar Younis, speaking soon after, said the win was something his team needed badly.
It's been a really tough tour on the field and off it, so we're pretty pleased to be back in this one-day he said.
What they did not need, however, was the finger of suspicion pointed at them again, which is exactly what happened. While the ICC refuse to reveal specific details about exactly which overs they were investigating, HT has learnt that the irregularities surround certain overs of the Pakistan batting, and could include dismissals of at least two key batsmen.
The Pakistan Cricket Board declined to comment on the latest allegations on the basis that doing so would simply lend credibility to the affair.
Shahid Afridi, the Pakistan ODI captain, was quoted as saying ‘all this is rubbish’ by the Cricinfo website. That these allegations come so close on the heels of the no-ball affair in the Lord Test, which ended in three players being provisionally suspended, does Pakistan cause no good. In the aftermath of the Lord Test England players had expressed grave reservations over playing against a team that included the accused trio, even before the ICC suspended them.
Leading commentators and former cricketers called for the tour to be called off, pending investigations, but it was decided that the limited-overs leg of the tour would continue, as the ECB had already invested considerable sums in staging the games and the PCB stood to lose a lot as well. How the latest revelations will affect the remainder of the tour remains to be seen.
The ECB is seeking clarification and details from the ICC and the ECB board will meet to discuss the matter, an ECB spokesman said. The next match is scheduled to take place at Lord, scene of the original fracas, on Monday.
First Published: Sep 19, 2010 00:24 IST