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February 2, 2007
Pakistan's Supreme Court wants an explanation from cricket authorities about a life ban on former captain Saleem Malik for his alleged involvement in match-fixing, an official said.
The court is hearing an appeal by 43-year-old Malik, who now lives a secluded life in Lahore, against the ban imposed by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) in May 2000. Lower courts have rejected the case.
"The PCB should explain on what grounds Malik was banned for life. In case Malik wins the case he can file for damages," said the court in its remarks, quoted by assistant registrar Basheer Janjoa. "Courts give a period of life sentences and the PCB must tell under which law Malik is banned from playing cricket for all his life."
The court adjourned the hearing until Friday at the request of the PCB's lawyer, the official said. Malik was banned by a PCB inquiry headed by a high court judge after Australian players Shane Warne, Tim May and Mark Waugh alleged that Malik offered them bribes to underperform on Australia's tour of Pakistan in 1994.
He was also barred from holding any office and from involvement in any cricket-related activity. The Qayyum inquiry also fined current Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq, Pakistan's assistant coach Mushtaq Ahmed, and the now-retired quartet of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Saeed Anwar and Akram Raza.
Malik's name also featured in an Indian match-fixing inquiry which led to life bans on former Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin and Ajay Sharma, and he was mentioned by late South African captain Hansie Cronje in another probe.
"I have been fighting this case for seven years now and since the Indian board had promised to lift Azhar's name I too had hoped the PCB would lift my ban," Malik had said last year.
Malik played 103 Tests and 263 one-day internationals for Pakistan between 1981 to 1999. He also led Pakistan in 12 Tests and 34 one-day internationals, a period during which he was alleged to have involvement in match-fixing. In 1995 Malik was cleared of the allegations by a one-judge commission on the grounds of lack of evidence.
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