PCB sends legal notice to Mickey Arthur

Mickey Arthur during a training session in Ahmedabad AFP

The Pakistan Cricket Board has sent a legal notice to former South Africa coach Mickey Arthur, asking him to respond within seven days about comments he made recently, suggesting that an ODI between Pakistan and South Africa in 2007 had "a strong suspicion of match-fixing" around it.

The PCB had issued a statement last Friday expressing concern over Arthur's comments and indicated that legal action would be taken. Arthur has since said his words were taken out of context, but the same claims are set to be made in his soon-to-be published autobiography. That might now cause further problems.

In the legal notice, a copy of which is with ESPNcricinfo, the PCB finds it "extremely startling" that Arthur has said this more than three years after the ODI. "They [the PCB] have reason to believe that such scandalizing statements have been made by you inter alia to "sell" your biography." The notice concludes that without any proof, the claims and allegations are "whimsical, frivolous, defamatory, disparaging, denigrating, libelous, slanderous and derogatory."

Arthur has been directed to "unconditionally and publicly retract" the statement and offer an "unqualified and unconditional apology" for the allegations. Pertinently, as far as the publication of the book is concerned, the board has asked for a written undertaking that no such statements will be made publicly again and "that your biography will not contain such or similar libels and disparaging statements against the Pakistan team or any of its members."

The PCB has also directed Arthur to put forward a proposal for paying them a "substantial sum" in damages. Arthur now has seven days from the receipt of this legal notice - a copy of which has also been sent to Cricket South Africa and the ICC - to respond.