Bacher refuses to appear in Pakistani court

Former South African cricket chief Ali Bacher will not appear in a Pakistan court to contest a R14.8-miilion libel suit brought by former umpire Javed Akhtar, he said on Friday.

Bacher, now the executive director of the 2003 Wold Cup, was responding to a summons apparently issued by a Rawalpindi court this week. During his evidence at the King commission of inquiry last year, Bacher alleged that Akhtar had accepted money from a bookmaker to influence the fifth Test match between England and South Africa at Headingley.

Bacher said that Akhtar had given nine LBW decisions during the match, eight of them against South African batsmen.

In a statement on Friday, Bacher said: "My evidence before the King commission was given as a result of my Board and the South African government urging me to disclose any information known to me concerning match-fixing and corruption in cricket.

"I believe that I have openly and honestly testified and trust that this evidence will assist in some way to stamp out corruption in cricket.

"I do not intend to be drawn into litigation in Pakistan, particularly in view of the fact that I have been advised that the Pakistan court does not have jurisdiction in this matter."