While Pakistani media is abuzz with reports of wicket keeper Kamran Akmal’s involvement in match fixing, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ijaz Butt dropped another bombshell, saying that at least two national players are suspected of match fixing.
Talking to media persons during a press conference in Lahore, Butt said it would be “foolish to say that no match-fixing takes place.”
Butt, however, refused to disclose the names of the cricketers suspected of match-fixing.
“The fact is it is very difficult to prove this. So I am not going to take any names right now. We are waiting for a report from an inquiry committee we have set up to probe into the team’s poor performances in Australia,” The Daily Times quoted Butt, as saying.
A confused Butt later clarified that that none of the players from the current squad was involved match-fixing.
“The two players are not on the cricket board’s current list of available players or the national team,” Butt said.
He said by bringing up the cases, 10-12 years old, he was merely trying to clarify how the ICC procedure on incidents of match-fixing works between the body and boards.
“I was telling them of the procedure the ICC has evolved about how such cases work. I was telling them that proving match-fixing charges and allegations can be very difficult. One of our friends in Islamabad made allegations against Younis Khan without any proof and look how that has destroyed his career almost,” Butt explained.
In the past few months Pakistan cricket has been rattled by match-fixing allegations several times.
It is worth mentioning that in October 2009, National Assembly’s sports committee chief Jamshed Dast had accused the Pakistan team of deliberately losing to Australia to knock old rivals India out of the Champions Trophy in South Africa following which captain Younis Khan tendered his resignation.
However, the committee later cleared the team of any wrongdoings.
In 2000, former Pakistan captain Salim Malik and medium pacer Ata-ur Rehman were found guilty of match-fixing by Justice Malik Qayyum. They were both banned for life following a year long investigation into the allegations.
The inquiry was launched in response to charges of betting and match-fixing against several of Pakistan’s top cricketers, including former captains Wasim Akram and Salim Malik, spinners Saqlain Mushtaq and Mushtaq Ahmed, and middle order batsman Ijaz Ahmed.