PCB to release Saleem Malik's overdue funds

Saleem Malik gives the thumbs up as he leaves court PA Photos

The PCB has accepted the plea of the banned former Pakistan captain Saleem Malik that a lower court has declared him innocent of match-fixing charges and agreed to release his outstanding money due with the board for years now. Subhan Ahmed, the PCB chief operating officer, said that the managing committee, which now stands dissolved, had in its final meeting given approval for releasing the provident fund and pension money due to Malik with the board.

"Orders have been passed for the release of his money as he had filed an application with us for the same," Ahmed told PTI. "Yes Malik has sent us the decision of the court and we have sought guidance from the International Cricket Council on the issue. But the managing committee felt that since the court had passed an order Malik's money should not be held up by the board any longer."

In 2000, Malik became the first player to be banned from all forms in cricket after Justice Qayyum's report found him guilty. Malik's appeal against the ban in 2001 was rejected by the Lahore High Court, but seven years later another court lifted the ban.

At the time, Malik expressed his interest in coaching and also claimed that the PCB had offered him the role of the head coach of the National Cricket Academy. The news of his apparent appointment drew the attention of the ICC, which sought an explanation from the Pakistan board. The PCB denied the offer. Malik then applied for the post of the national side's batting coach in October 2012 but was not considered.

Ahmed said a decision is yet to be taken on Malik's resumption of cricketing activities. "We are still to get a reply from the ICC and we will take it from there," he said.

However, the ICC has said the Malik issue is a domestic matter and they are not part of the decision-making process. "Saleem Malik has been banned by the PCB and not by the ICC," an ICC spokesman told ESPNcricinfo. "As such, this remains a domestic matter for the PCB."

PCB's outgoing chairman, Najam Sethi also said on a television show that since the court had cleared Malik there appeared to be no reason to hold up his pension and provident fund amount. "If the court has cleared him than we can't stop his payments and there is no doubt he is a former captain," Sethi said.

Malik last played international cricket in June 1999. He played 103 Tests, captaining in 12 Tests in 1994-95, winning seven. He is also one of four Pakistan players to have played more than a hundred Tests, and also featured in 283 ODIs.