Pakistan interior minister to team: Don't fix Mohali match
Pakistan's interior minister Rehman Malik warned the country's cricket team on Monday that it was being kept under close scrutiny ahead of the Wednesday's World Cup semi-final against India because of the recent spot-fixing scandal.world Updated: Mar 29, 2011 00:57 IST
Pakistan's interior minister Rehman Malik warned the country's cricket team on Monday that it was being kept under close scrutiny ahead of the Wednesday's World Cup semi-final against India because of the recent spot-fixing scandal.
"We are taking no risks now and we are keeping a close watch on the team for the semi-final because we don't want any more spot-fixing scandals," Malik told reporters.
Pakistan cricket has been hit by match-fixing allegations which saw players Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif banned for five years on charges related to fixing during last year's Test against England at Lord's.
Former Pakistan captain Imran Khan told Indian television channels he was appalled by what Malik had said before such an important match.
"I just hope he didn't mean what he said as it is not good for the team," Imran said.
Malik said, "After the spot-fixing scandal, we are taking no risks at all. But we are also satisfied that the present team members are also aware of the damage already caused to Pakistan cricket by the scandal and are clean."
Pakistan bowler Umar Gul, speaking from Mohali on Monday, said his team was unconcerned by such statements.
"I wasn't aware of this until you pointed it out. We don't focus on the media, we are focusing only on our cricket," he said.
"The kind of pressure we have had over the last several months and the way we have handled it, this is no pressure at all. We are focusing totally on our game," Gul said.