Pakistan in Sri Lanka 2009 August 7, 2009

PCB takes legal advice on match-fixing allegations

Cricinfo staff

In the wake of allegations of match-fixing in Pakistan's ongoing tour of Sri Lanka by former chief selector of the PCB Abdul Qadir, Ijaz Butt, the chairman of the Pakistan board, has sought legal advice on the means to tackle such unsubstantiated accusations. 'We are discussing the matter with our lawyers on how some senior players came up with allegations without any proof," Butt told AFP, without naming Qadir. "This is not on and not acceptable."

Qadir had been quoted in the Pakistan media suspecting the involvement of some players in the team in match-fixing, given the nature of Pakistan's defeat in the Test series, where they collapsed dramatically to squander dominant positions, and their meek surrender in the ODIs. 'After following the series I suspect some players could be involved in match fixing and if a high-level inquiry is done everything will become crystal clear,' Qadir had been quoted as saying. He did not further substantiate the statement with any evidence or proof.

Qadir had earlier resigned as the chief selector of the PCB on acrimonious terms, criticising the board for not giving him adequate independence in carrying out his duties. "Why did I resign? If you do not get the respect, the justice or independence in your job it is better to leave," he had said after his resignation. He had also said in the immediate aftermath of Pakistan's defeat in the Test series that the team was divided, and that the players were not fully co-operating with Younis Khan, their captain. "When I resigned as chief selector, I am on record as saying that Shoaib Malik should be punished for letting captain Younis Khan down and I maintain that there is factionalism in the team," he had said.

Responding to accusations of match-fixing, Butt said: "'We are discussing how to tackle the accusers who made allegations because they are disgruntled."

The PCB, however, has notified the ICC about their players being approached by suspicious characters during the Test series against Sri Lanka. Earlier this week there were reports in an Urdu daily that some of the players had brought to the team manager's notice the presence of "undesirable elements" in the team hotel in Colombo, after which they changed their rooms. "The matter was reported to the official of the ICC in Sri Lanka and they took some urgent steps," a PCB statement said. "Match-fixing in all the ICC matches is monitored by the ICC. Currently there are one or two senior staff of the ACSU [Anti Corruption and Security Unit] in Sri Lanka ensuring complete control."