Pakistan news April 26, 2011

PCB asks ICC to 'investigate' Sutherland comments

ESPNcricinfo staff

The PCB has taken umbrage at remarks made by Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland about the Justice Qayyum commission on matchfixing and asked the ICC to "investigate" the comments.

In a recent story on corruption in cricket in the Age, Sutherland said that the spot-fixing scandal of last summer, after which three Pakistani players were banned for five years, might not have happened had the PCB acted properly in the aftermath of the Qayyum commission, whose recommendations were released in 2000.

''Ask yourself whether Pakistan Cricket Board actually went through and implemented those recommendations," Sutherland said. "Well, I can't say for sure but I would have big question marks about whether those things would have happened last year if those recommendations had been fully implemented,'' said Sutherland.

The statement has irked current and former officials in Pakistan alike. "We felt it was totally unnecessary to make the remarks," a senior board official told ESPNcricinfo. "We have sent a letter to the ICC asking them to investigate his statement and come back to us. We have implemented that report in toto and are disappointed that it is being brought up again now when the PCB has done so much to fight corruption and set things right. It was not needed."

Much the same line was taken by Tauqir Zia, the board chairman at the time of the Qayyum commission. "James Sutherland should not give any irresponsible statement in the press as one of the key officials of Cricket Australia," Zia told Dawn. "And as far as the matter is concerned, I believe I took all the measures to ensure 100 per cent implementation of all the recommendations of Justice Qayyum."

Sutherland's comments are not new and as a CA spokesman confirmed, have "been his position in public discussion for a long while." In fact, that position appears to be the same one taken by Qayyum himself. Immediately after the spot-fixing scandal emerged last August, Qayyum said the PCB had not been "strong enough" in implementing some recommendations in his report. Incidentally, in 2006, Qayyum had also admitted to ESPNcricinfo that he had been lenient on some of the players because he had a "soft corner" for them.

In the report, a number of recommendations were made. The main ones involved banning for life players such as Salim Malik and Ata-ur-Rehman, and fining a host of others, including Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Mushtaq Ahmed and Saeed Anwar. Some of these players, such as Akram, were prevented from holding any positions of responsibility in or around the team, as was Mushtaq. The legspinner was an assistant coach of the Pakistan side in 2006-07 when Bob Woolmer was coach and Inzamam the captain, against the recommendations of the report. He is now on the coaching staff of the ECB, with the England team.

One of the key recommendations Qayyum complained was not fully implemented was having players declare all their assets publicly at the start of their career and then do so annually thereafter. One board official admitted that this "hadn't been followed up on in the years after the report" but it had been done since and that, in any case, "it is difficult to make a case of corruption purely from assets coming into an account."

In all, nearly 30 recommendations, some specific to the cases then but a number of longer-term ones as well, were made by the commission which is the report itself], including calls for a tighter code of conduct on players and that an independently-headed Review committee be set up to investigate all cases of possible corruption in the future.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Robert on April 28, 2011, 14:47 GMT

    One has to wonder why Sutherland is even commenting on this issue. This is just another reason why the hierarchy at CA don't do things well. Whether it be poor thought out commenting, poor handling of situations or making changes to the game, Sutherland and co. really are clueless. The wrong people are running CA from the top to selectors. Time for some change.

  • Abdul on April 27, 2011, 7:11 GMT

    Without favouring ICC or PCB I would remind Mr. Sutherland that he is "Cricket Australia" Chief not ICC chief. He should take interest in the matters of Cricket in Australia. They need him more than anybody else in the world.

  • Zaki on April 27, 2011, 6:45 GMT

    Why that statement has made? What is Mr. Sutherland's stance on it? Does anybody cares what he says!!! There is no doubt that PCB is not as strong as BCCI or CA or even ECB.. Strong in terms of money.... PCB don't have that much money to shut the mouth of all who find new ways of keeping Paki players under pressure.... PCB should learn from BCCI, who has able to transformed International Cricket Council to Indian Cricket Council...

  • Michael on April 26, 2011, 23:30 GMT

    Good point, JB34. The Waugh and Warne case is often forgotten here in Australia, and Mr. Warne is still roundly celebrated as a hero. However, I wonder what the PCB hope to achieve by having the ICC 'investigate' James Sutherland's statement? Do they want to know whether the statement was in fact made? What would that actually achieve? The other option would be for the ICC to investigate the PCB to see if the recommendations were in fact implemented - but that seems to go against the indignation the PCB have expressed.

  • Andrew on April 26, 2011, 22:42 GMT

    @Irfan Zarger - I have empathy for his plight. I was glad that his sentence was a lot less then the others. He wasn't a scapegoat, but I'd like to think the ICC would of shown a little more mercy towards him.

  • Andrew on April 26, 2011, 22:36 GMT

    The PCB has acted against corruption since the recent fiasco, but Sutherland was right, had they acted after the Qayyum report - this may of been avoided. Many observers have said this anyways. I dunno what the fuss is about, if Sutherland is expected to answer a question about corruption he should be allowed to answer it. I am no fan of Sutherland but it appears in context.

  • Adrian on April 26, 2011, 22:00 GMT

    If Qayyum himself says that PCB hasn't implemented his recommendations enough and Sutherland is simply saying that the PCB hasn't implemented them enough, then there is no slander or libel committed because what he is saying is essentially true. Therefore, CA doesn't have a case to answer. The rest of what Sutherland says, suggesting that the spot fixing case might not have happened, is Sutherland's own personal opinion and opinions can never be defamation. In short, the PCB should spend a bit more time fixing problems and a bit less time complaining about them.

  • Hassaan on April 26, 2011, 20:27 GMT

    The spot-fixing case has already been dealt with, mr.sutherland. All three have been handed out severe punishments. We, the supporters of Pakistan cricket, are sick of all these controversies and now that the pakistan cricket team is once again beginning to find stability you had to come out and start another controversy. PCB should take strict action against him. And make him apologise for what he said. He has no right to question the integrity of the PCB officials.

  • Dummy4 on April 26, 2011, 19:41 GMT

    I do agree that PCB is still not in row with the rest of the world but at the same time what about india the biggest market for bookies are in india and they have contact with bifg indian player. India also cover up Uvraj singh incident. so so to my friend nlamda first look in your own back yard and then comment on others.And even ICC is not full of saints.the whole structure has to be changed.

  • Nabeel on April 26, 2011, 18:31 GMT

    Well, As the PCB puts it that they have done quiet a lot to prevent corruption in the past year after the English summer, and people should not come up with statements like Mr.Sutherland did. But it still remains to be seen weather the measures the PCB has taken in the past year are being implemented as they should be. And as far as Mr.Sutherland's statement is concerned, I think he is right. If the PCB had implemented the recommendations made by Qayyum Commission wel at that timel, We wouldn't have lost 2 of the best fast bowlers in the country and a potentially very good batsman.

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