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September 4, 2010
England coach Andy Flower is happy with Mushtaq Ahmed's role within the team despite the spin bowling coach's previous links with illegal bookmakers.
Mushtaq was named in the Qayyum report into match fixing in 2000 because of his association with gamblers during his playing career with Pakistan. It was serious enough for the lCC to say it would not have employed Mushtaq but Flower is adamant there is no problem.
"I am very comfortable with Mushtaq," said Flower. "He's been brilliant for us as a team. He's been a good coach, a good example to our players and support staff - and I'm looking forward to him working with us again when he joins us in Australia."
With the ongoing spot-fixing crisis engulfing the game Mushtaq's past has been thrown into the spotlight. Haroon Lorgat, the ICC chief executive, advised England to carry out careful background checks before appointing Mushtaq but maintained the final decision remained the ECB's.
"The best we can do is just highlight anybody we have got on a list who has been labelled before and I handed this to the ECB and cautioned them [about Mushtaq] with a suggestion you need to do due diligence. They did their due diligence and they were satisfied with the appointment. We suggested they [ECB] had to be vigilant around their own changing rooms.
"We don't at the ICC, as a matter of fact, employ people we believe may have been tainted in the past but they are entitled to do their own due diligence and make their own decision."
Mushtaq, who took 185 wickets in 52 Tests between 1990 and 2003, has been working with England since 2008. Though he has not been involved in the series against Pakistan he will be working with England again during the Ashes in Australia at the end of the year.
"I chatted with Mushy on the phone a couple of days ago" said Flower. "He's a cricket coach - that's what he is - and we're very comfortable working with Mushy. He's a lovely man, and a good man for our system. I'm quite happy with that."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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