Pakistan domestic match to be probed
The Karachi City Cricket Association (KCCA) has formed a panel to investigate a domestic Twenty20 match last month between Karachi Zebras and Peshawar Panthers over allegations of suspect play.
The association held an executive council meeting in which former KCCA secretary Ejaz Faruqi was nominated to head the panel to investigate the Faysal Bank Super Eight T20 Cup match that the Zebras lost by 31 runs against a weakened Peshawar. Peshawar made 158, their highest total of the tournament, and the victory led them to the semi-finals and eliminated the Zebras.
"There are a lot of observations on the particular match against Peshawar," Faruqi told ESPNcricinfo. "KCCA in its general body meeting understood that the suspect match has to be investigated. We'll make sure that this case is thoroughly investigated with great care.
"We don't want to destroy anyone's career but if we find any wrongdoings, those involved will be dealt with severely. I don't know if it was fixing for money or players underperformed for particular reason or it merely could be an allegation but we are definitely looking into it and it's our responsibility to clarify the status of the match."
Peshawar, a relatively weak team, missed their star player Umar Gul, who sat out the match because of a finger injury but returned to play the semi-final. "The KCCA move is underestimating the Peshawar side," Wasel Durrani, Peshawar regional head, told ESPNcricinfo. "We won the game on our own capacity and Twenty20 is a format where any weaker team can turn the table."
The PCB has an anti-corruption code at the domestic level, but its media manager and director of domestic cricket both refused to comment on the probe by the KCCA.
"It's a very sensitive matter and we have to take it very carefully," KCCA president, Sirajul Islam Bhukhari, said. "We got reports of foul play from our side and this has been discussed in our council meeting yesterday and we decided to launch an investigation. We have formed a panel that has reputed people in it to investigate, so whatever the panel finds will be accepted."
Pakistan has had several fixing controversies in the recent past. Last November, former Pakistan captain Salman Butt and fast bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir were found guilty of conspiracy to cheat and conspiracy to accept corrupt payments at Southwark Crown Court in London. Earlier this month, the ECB decided to bring disciplinary proceedings against legspinner Danish Kaneria in relation to spot-fixing allegations.
Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent