Alarmed by the Hansie Cronje episode, the international cricket council (ICC) is holding a meeting in London on May-3 and 4. The special meeting has been called to discuss match-fixing scandals occurring in cricket playing countries and to formulate a policy to curb this trend through stringent measures.

Though the meeting will be attended by the representatives of all test playing countries, the Pakistan cricket Board has been specifically asked to submit its long delayed report on match fixing for discussion in the meeting. The cricket board of India and Australia are said to have already sent their reports on the subject to the ICC.

It may be recalled that a probe on the allegations of match fixing against some Pakistani players was conducted by a Lahore High Court Judge, Malik Mohammad Qayyum who submitted his report to the Pakistan Government in October 99. Although the Judge has refused to disclose the names of the players alleged to be involved in match fixing, he admitted that there were some players against whom he recommended punitive action. Justice Qayyum has desired to attend the ICC meeting to reveal his findings personally, but his request is not likely to be accepted because this is not a common practice at the ICC. The inquiry report can provide the genuine material for discussion.

Mr. Yawar Saeed, Director Cricket Operations PCB, who has been nominated to attend the meeting, is taking the report along for discussion so that the players involvement ore otherwise can be ascertained and the matter finalized.

It is also learnt that LT. Gen. Tauqir Zia, Chairman PCB is likely to meet President Rafiq Tarir soon, to discuss the issue.

With the evil of match fixing spreading all over the world and destroying the charm and dignity of cricket, the holding of such a meeting is a wise step. The general opinion of the cricket lovers is that the players found guilty of involvement in this dirty crime must be severely punished, so that the real spirit of competition returns to cricket and it remains a gentlemen's game for all times to came.

World Cup every two years

A report originating for a press corespondent in Washington and attributed to Lt. Gen. Tauqir Zia, the chairman PCB, indicates that Pakistan intends to propose in the ICC special meeting, the holding of World Cup every two years instead of four. Gen. Zia who thinks that a decrease in the frequency of one-day matches will reduce the chances of match fixing, also believes that "holding of Would Cup every two years will be helpful. It would allow more countries to have a chance of holding it".

The proposal is not practicable. Those who have prepared the proposal are perhaps not aware of the implications involved, the time required for planning, preparation and the hard work and effort involved in staging the event. Not only that the participating countries would not like its quick repetition, the attraction, exuberance and glamour of this great competition would also be lost if held so frequently.

Saeed Anwar's Departure delayed

Saeed Anwar the star opener of the Pakistan team having been declared fit by the national selection committee will join the Pakistan team in the West Indies in the first week of May.

It may be recalled that three prominent members of the Pakistan team, Saeed Anwar, Saqlain Mushtaq and Azhar Mahmood became unfit during Sri Lanka's tour of Pakistan. They were sent to England for treatment. While Saqlain has already joined the team having regained his fitness, Saeed will be doing so now. Though Saeed Will be missing the first test starting on May 5, his return will surely boost up the team's batting strength.

Flood Lighting of Stadium

While Gaddafi Stadium Lahore is already equipped with flood lights and night cricket is played there, the PCB has signed a contract with Philip Electric Company for the installation of flood lights at National Stadium Karachi and Rawalpindi Cricket Ground. The project is to cost RS. 58 million for both the cricket centers. At Karachi the installation of flood lights is expected to be completed by September, while at Rawalpindi the project will be completed by October this year.

In the next phase the three stadiums are planned to be equipped with electronic score boards, while stadiums at Peshawar, Hydrabad and Faisalabad will be under consideration for the provision of these facilities. The holding of regular night matches at these countries will obviously boost up cricket activity in the country.

The junior Cricket

Pakistan is giving lot of importance to junior cricket from where the players emerge for the national team. A number of camps and tournaments are held to groom the upcoming youngsters. To gain experience of international cricket, the Pakistan junior teams are sent on foreign tours quite frequently.

The activity in the immediate future include Pakistan under-15 team's tour of Malaysia and England in June and Pakistan "A" team's visit to Kenya in July. On an invitation from the Kenya Cricket Board, the "A" team will be participating in a dress rehearsal for the upcoming ICC knock out tournament later this year. The teams from all test playing countries plus the two one-day sides, Bangladesh and Kenya will take part in the event.

Pakistan will also be holding Under-17 ICC Asia Cricket Tournament in July this year. Seven countries have so far confirmed their participation in the tournament, to be sponsored by LG Electronics.

England's tour of Pakistan

The PCB has also finalized the dates for England Cricket team's tour of Pakistan to play a series of three test matches and three One-day internationals. The England team arriving on October 16, will begin its tour from Karachi, where a test and a one-day match will be staged. Lahore will also host a test and a one-dayer. Faisalabad has been allotted a test while Peshawar will hold a one dayer.

It may be recalled that England last visited Pakistan in 1987 in a tour that was marred by an angry clash between then England captain Mike Gattling and Umpire Shakoor Rana in a test at Faisalabad

LG Cricket Cup

LG Cricket Cup will be held in Pakistan in September this year. South Africa has confirmed its participation while talks are in progress for inviting another team. In case the third team is not available, Pakistan and Sri Lanka will play three match series in Lahore, Karachi and Rawalpindi under flood lights.