KARACHI: Battling under the weight of fixing controversies, scrutiny from the International Cricket Council and the team’s poor performance on the field, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has opted to distance itself from the four new players implicated in the spot-fixing scam and has refused to release any sort of official statement.
Opener Imran Farhat was the first of four more players named by Mazhar Majeed to announce plans of taking legal action while middle-order batsman Umar Akmal has plans of following the same route as well. The PCB, however, has refused to comment on the revelations and the players’ acts despite all four being centrally contracted.
“The PCB has adopted a wait-and-see approach because it is a sensitive matter,” a PCB official told The Express Tribune. “With the position of the suspended trio still uncertain, the board cannot afford to bury itself under more rubble at this point in time.”
The official, however, said the board was monitoring the situation and would not allow the players to breach the code of conduct.
“It is not the domain of board because these would be individual defamation cases.”
The official added that the PCB would maintain its earlier stance to wait for the outcome of the hearing in the case of Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir before initiating any action against Majeed or The News of The World which alleged Pakistan players of spot-fixing following a sting operation in August.
“We would wait for clearance before taking legal action against the publication or Majeed.”
Legal notice on Asiad fixing claims
Meanwhile, irked by the match-fixing allegations against the Pakistan team that grabbed a bronze in the Asian Games last month, the PCB has planned on sending a legal notice to Javed Ali Khan, head of Eleven Star, a local club of Islamabad.
Khan, in an interview aired on tv, blamed captain Khalid Latif of deliberately under-performing against Afghanistan in the semi-final, a shock loss that allowed the underdogs to go through to the gold-medal match.
According to the official, the allegations were levelled without any evidence and the board did not take them seriously but nonetheless decided to take legal action against the club chief.
“These were just allegations but they have maligned the country’s image for which the responsible should be questioned.”
Published in The Express Tribune, December 3rd, 2010.