11 October 1998

Pakistan ball-tampering claims admitted

By Peter Deeley

CONFIRMATION that ball-tampering took place on Pakistan's 1996 tour of England has come from a former chairman of the Pakistan cricket board.

Transcripts supplied by the High Court in Lahore of previously unpublished evidence from Javed Burki, a one-time Pakistani Test captain and chief selector, to the judicial commission investigating allegations of match-fixing and betting bears out what has always been been suspected but never before officially admitted. His deposition is mainly about suspicions that games were rigged and large sums bet by players. But at one point he says: "Ball-tampering also took place during the [1996] tour."

It was after the limited-overs international at Lord's that the umpires impounded the old ball and replaced it with another while Pakistan were bowling.

Burki was at Old Trafford for another one-day game in the same series and in his evidence said: "The English team put on 100 runs in the first 10 overs and it was only due to loose deliveries bowled deliberately by Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis."

Wasim, who, along with Salim Malik and Ijaz Ahmed, has denied accusations of fixing and betting - illegal under Islamic law - was Pakistan captain on that tour. He said England won the series because they were the stronger side.

Australia were 265 for eight in their second innings at the end of the third day of a four-day match against a Rawalpindi select team. The local side had hit 261 in reply to the Australians' first-innings total of 355.

Source :: Electronic Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk)