Imran Khan rejects calls for cricket ban

Published: September 21, 2010
Imran Khan said Pakistan's cricket team has long been a target of British tabloids. PHOTO: AFP

Imran Khan said Pakistan's cricket team has long been a target of British tabloids. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: Imran Khan brushed aside calls to ban his Pakistan from international cricket until corruption allegations are investigated, saying a country cannot be punished collectively.

Former England captains Ian Botham and Michael Vaughan had demanded for Pakistan to be kicked out of international cricket until a probe into their cricketers has been completed.

Their calls followed allegations of spot-fixing against Pakistani cricketers during their ongoing tour of England, which triggered a war of words between cricket officials from the two countries.

Former Pakistan cricket captain Khan said a country cannot be thrown out on the basis of allegations.

“In any form of illegal activity you cannot give collective punishment to a country and deprive millions of fans, more so because these are still allegations yet to be proven,” Khan told AFP.

The police completed an initial report and prosecutors are deciding whether to press charges. Khan said the only evidence comes from a newspaper report and its footage.

“The only evidence is that of News of the World footage showing someone (alleged bookie Mazhar Majeed) with money to be given to the players, and on that basis you cannot punish a country,” said Khan.

He said the whole issue should be dealt handled with common sense and urged all parties to refrain from making “inappropriate statements”, referring to comments made by Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ijaz Butt.

Butt accused England players of match-fixing in the third one-dayer across London at The Oval on Friday.

“Butt was wrong in levelling allegations,” said Khan. “Even if any other team is involved that does not absolve you.”

Khan said Pakistan’s cricket team has long been a target of British tabloids.

“Remember they called Wasim Akram and Waqar Younus cheats for ball-tampering when they destroyed England on the 1992 tour and when England won the Ashes series in 2005 the reverse swing became an art and skill.”

“There are double standards,” said Khan. “When England had fast bowlers there were no curbs on fast bowling but when the West Indies had a battery of fast bowlers it became a threat and so many curbs were put against fast bowlers like restriction on bouncers etcetera.”

Khan stressed Pakistani cricket “has to put its house in order” adding that, “there should no longer be a PCB chairman nominated by President of Pakistan who is not accountable to anyone.”

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Reader Comments (15)

  • sarah
    Sep 21, 2010 - 4:44PM

    i like the last para. wish Imran Khan could chair PCB i wouldnt mind Ramiz Raja or Aamir Sohail either!Recommend

  • Adnan
    Sep 21, 2010 - 5:02PM

    Absolutely right he is ! For the wrong doings of a few cricketers, you shouldn’t punish the other players/staff members who are putting in all the effort they can.Recommend

  • K Hasan
    Sep 21, 2010 - 5:06PM

    Ejaz Butt has no diplomatic manner therefore he should try keep quiet rather to speakout a lot in order overcome his fault.
    I think Imran Khan can be a best administrator of PCB but he is dreaming to be prime minister of Pakistan.Recommend

  • Kashif Hasan
    Sep 21, 2010 - 5:19PM

    Ejaz Butt is a wonky oldman, who doesnot understand right and wrong, I think English board or any other board can ever be more friendly to PCB than BCCI but Mr Butt is hoping for favor from Sharad Pawar, who is an Indian and he is fighting with all others cricket officials. I don’t know why he is doing such practice but it will be resulted in more harms to Pakistani Cricket.Recommend

  • Aftab A Khan
    Sep 21, 2010 - 6:01PM

    I fully agree what Imran Khan has said. We need people like MR Khan to lead the Pakistan Cricket . He is a tough guy with good experience and how to handle, BUT MR. Butt is a big BUTT who do not know what he talks, I think some of his old friend advice to have a lose talk., If you have any clue Please let ICC know through the proper channels. Keep the country Pride First Mr. BUTT , avoid lose talk in future. It is better for MR.BUTT and company to sit home and watch the game on TV.Keep a BIG Cigar in your mouth and watch the game.Recommend

  • Anonymous
    Sep 21, 2010 - 6:13PM

    You cannot punish a country for a few bad apples and lousy CEO(mr Butt). I want to see Amir in a india-pak match we india love india-pak match nothing to beat it.pun intended kick the butt.Recommend

  • HST
    Sep 21, 2010 - 7:20PM

    Ian Botham and Michal Vaughn comments show the intensity of hate the British have for Pakistan, both came from the ex English captains…they are being extreamly unreasonable.. its not a child’s play that you ban a country from participating in international cricket….especially when the proof is not sufficient…..te…lls you who much law upholding they really are. Truely poor and deplorable commentsRecommend

  • QB
    Sep 21, 2010 - 7:24PM

    @Aftab A Khan: We need people like IK not only to lead Pakistan Cricket, but the whole Pakistan.Recommend

  • Anoop
    Sep 21, 2010 - 9:07PM

    Pakistan team should not be banned. But, the guilty ones should certainly be. Recommend

  • Imran Ali
    Sep 21, 2010 - 10:43PM

    Yawar Saeed and ijaz Butt need to be banned from holding any office and investigated for lack of player oversight. On top of that Butt’s stupid statements are harming Pakistan cricket. If we dont want cricket to be like our hockey we need to continue protesting the presence of corrupt, ineffective and incompetent leadership (not just the country’s but the PCB as well).Recommend

  • GUI
    Sep 22, 2010 - 1:14AM

    Hey Imran sahib, many Pakistanis would be happy to be put out of the misery inflicted by the Pak team. I say ban Pakistan for 5 years. That way the nation won’t have to suffer further torment for a while. We can’t trust our players nor the PCB. They bring a bad name to Pak. Enough is enough. They should be denied the privilege of representing us before the world.Recommend

  • Sep 22, 2010 - 4:05AM

    Well, I didn’t expect that from Micheal Vaughan. It is strange how can you call for banning a cricket-playing nation, which has produced one of world’s top talents, based on allegations, which are yet to be proven. Even if the allegations are proven to be correct, only the players concerned should pay the penalty.Recommend

  • sultan, Abbottabad
    Sep 22, 2010 - 8:42AM

    Imran is right Recommend

  • Sep 23, 2010 - 5:58AM

    Imran should be heading the PCB – he is qualified for this as opposed to being PMRecommend

  • Maitre
    Oct 15, 2010 - 6:11PM

    Ian Botham is a stupid gun who is always after Pakistanis whenever they perform well. In fact, Our performance against Australia and England brought in the Mazhar Majeed and the gambling scene. England could have faced humiliation had our players performed and behaved properly off field while avoiding bad names on the PCB and on their own careers. It was their insanity that made Ian Botham open his ugly mouth and talk about Pakistan’s ouster from International Cricket.Recommend

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