Taylor and Waugh face Malik in the 'courtroom' (7 October 1998)

7 October 1998

Taylor and Waugh face Malik in the 'courtroom'

By Peter Deeley in Lahore

MARK TAYLOR and Mark Waugh faced their old adversary Salim Malik again 24 hours after the first Pakistan Test - this time in a legal hearing - as they told of a $200,000 (£125,000) offer to throw a game.

The two Australians secretly left their colleagues at dawn yesterday in the Rawalpindi team hotel and flew here protected by a personal bodyguard to give evidence to the judicial commission hearing allegations of match-rigging and betting by Pakistan players.

They had demanded tight security and secrecy before they would testify and the court agreed to sit in camera - but both had to tell their stories under oath.

When they arrived, accompanied by Australian Cricket Board chief executive Malcolm Speed, at the home of the commission judge Malik Muhammad Qayyum - where the hearing was due to take place - the Australians found the time and place had already been publicised.

With the local media pack on their heels, the proceedings were hurriedly shifted to the home of the chief justice and the testimony taken in his drawing room.

That was not the only shock. The two found Malik there with a battery of three lawyers, who cross-examined them in detail.

Taylor said afterwards: "That made us a little uneasy but we had nothing to hide. The whole affair was not something we found pleasant but we felt we needed to do it."

The events relate to the 1994 Australian tour of Pakistan. Then Shane Warne and Tim May - neither of whom is in this country - claimed Malik offered them money to "bowl badly" in the first Karachi Test.

Along with Waugh they gave affidavits to a previous judge but the three then declined to come to give evidence in person and Malik was cleared because of the lack of corroborative evidence.

Pressure has been building on Taylor and Waugh to testify in person to this new commission - which is also hearing separate allegations against Ijaz Ahmed and Wasim Akram.

Speed came specifically to negotiate terms under which they would appear and privacy was one of the players' top priorities. Taylor explained: "We were worried about personal security and as captain I was very concerned not to sour matters between the two sides in the middle of a Test series."

The Australian captain said his evidence simply related to what he had been told by his players. "I was just a third party."

He and Waugh were questioned about the Australians' delay in alerting the Pakistan Cricket Board to the alleged approach by Malik.

The Pakistan Cricket Board maintain it was four months before they were told and board chairman Khalid Mahmood claimed after yesterday's hearing "neither player could give us any explanation".

Waugh, who said he was "relieved" after giving his evidence, described how Malik had approached him at a presidential dinner before a one-day international in Rawalpindi in 1984, asking if he could find four or five of the Australian players willing to help throw the game - to bat slowly and to bowl some full tosses and long-hops.

Waugh was questioned about his relationship with Malik - whom he described as "just an acquaintance" - and said afterwards: "I only told the truth about what happened."

Judge Qayyum's findings are expected soon after he has heard evidence in person from Malik and Wasim.

Source :: Electronic Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk)