Spot-fixing controversy September 7, 2010

Two Pakistan players issued notices before scandal

Cricinfo staff

Two Pakistan cricketers were issued notices by the ICC seeking information nearly a month before the spot-fixing scandal broke during the Lord's Test last month, ESPNcricinfo has learned. The players are part of the squad in England and were sent notices because they were already under the scanner of the ICC's Anti Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU). One of them was provisionally suspended by the ICC after being named by News of the World's sting operation.

The ACSU "had already served notices seeking information from certain players even before the scam broke out," a source familiar with the ongoing investigation told ESPNcricinfo. It is also understood that relevant PCB officials were aware of the notices, which were sent immediately after the first Test in Nottingham.

ESPNcricinfo was unable to contact PCB chairman Ijaz Butt, who has not made any statements since Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir were suspended by the ICC. Yawar Saeed, the Pakistan team's manager, is not authorised to speak on the investigations and referred ESPNcricinfo to the chairman. Another official refused to confirm or deny that such notices had been received.

Although the Daily Mail has today named the two cricketers, there has been no official confirmation of their identities.

The notice served to the pair sought certain information and the players were required to respond within 14 days. Failure to do so would in itself constitute an offence under the ICC's anti-corruption code.

Some of Pakistan's cricketers are facing scrutiny not only from the ACSU but also from Pakistan's tax authorities who will reportedly probe the finances of the cricketers, a move endorsed by both Shafqat Rana, Pakistan's associate manager, and limited-overs captain Shahid Afridi. "It was there in their (the government's) mind before we came over," Rana said about the tax probe. "I think it's a good thing, it will open things out so they (the players) will be very careful."