ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s top political leadership on Sunday expressed ‘disappointment’ over reports of the country’s cricketing stars’ alleged involvement in fixing a Test match against England, terming it a ‘national shame’.
President Asif Ali Zardari, who is the patron of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), has ordered the authorities to submit a preliminary report as soon as possible. “The president ordered a detailed report in this regard after a British scribe broke the news of spot-fixing by Pakistani cricketers,” said presidential spokesperson Farhatullah Babar.
Zardari is also said to have ordered the PCB chairman Ijaz Butt to apprise him about the developments in Scotland Yard’s investigation into the matter.
In Multan, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani called the allegation against seven top players including skipper Salman Butt ‘shameful’ and said those involved must be punished. Although the PM’s secretariat officials did not confirm it, private television channels have reported the premier has sought a report from the PCB top management.
In the meantime, there are reports the foreign ministry has been directed to secure the return of players accused of match fixing. However, there is no official confirmation of this.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 30th, 2010.