Pakistan news October 16, 2010

ICC warning a 'shame' for Pakistan - Imran

ESPNcricinfo staff

Imran Khan, the former Pakistan captain, has termed the ICC's warning to the PCB to clean up its act as a "shame", and reiterated his stance calling for an overhaul of the current administration. Imran also criticised the influence of politics on the affairs of the board.

Last week, the ICC, taking notice of the continuing decline of governance in Pakistan cricket, particularly since the spot-fixing controversy and the subsequent suspensions of three players, cautioned the board to fix its administration and introduce its own anti-corruption measures or face the consequences, potentially in the form of sanctions.

"For years now our players have been linked to corruption," Imran said. "When the spot-fixing allegations first came out against our players in the News of the World newspaper, the PCB itself should have taken action against the players instead of waiting for the ICC to step in."

Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammed Amir were provisionally suspended by the ICC for their alleged involvement in spot-fixing during the fourth Test against England at Lord's. "The ICC move to warn us and put us on notice is a shameful day for every Pakistani. It is a shame for Pakistan cricket and the reason is we don't have any cricket institution in Pakistan," Imran said.

Cricketing relations between Pakistan and England took a turn for the worse when Ijaz Butt, the PCB chairman, suggested some England players might have been involved in spot-fixing during the ODI series - an allegation he retracted and apologised for when threatened with legal action. Imran was highly critical of the board chief. "Ijaz Butt's governance has been a failure. He should have resigned the moment he apologised to the England board and withdraw his statement because they threatened him with legal action."

The patron-in-chief of the PCB is the president of Pakistan - currently Asif Ali Zardari - and Imran said the interference of politics in cricket was unacceptable. "Tell me in which country does the president appoint the chairman of the cricket board," he said.

"Today we face problems because the cricket board never took action against players accused of match-fixing. In order to save itself and to ensure we didn't lose key players the administrators were reluctant to carry out and complete investigations against such players."