I have heard about that and would like to know on what basis. The match referee for the tri-series involving Pakistan, India and South Africa in Sharjah earlier this year, Mr Raman Subba Row gave Sharjah a "very good" in all categories in his evaluation.
Only against the crowd he marked "poor". That was partly because fewer people come to the ground these days as they prefer to watch it on TV and those who come are partisan one way or the other.
I asked Lord MacLaurin about it. He said he was not speaking only about Sharjah, but wanted every venue where it is established that betting and match-fixing to be banned.
Even if it is Lord's?
Yes, but in fact, he took the name of Sharjah, The Oval or any ground anywhere where the orgainsers or the ground authorities are found indulging in any wrong-doing. I have no quarrels with that.
Why target Sharjah?
Because Sharjah is a small cog in the Asian chain and, of course, because of our closeness to Indian, Pakistani and Sri Lankan Cricket Boards. But Sharjah does not deserve this. For 20 years we staged the tournaments relying solely on money from gate receipts and in-stadia advertising.
Yet, we gave the Boards guarantee money as well as a purse for current and former cricketers from the region. We have even honoured cricketers from Australia, West Indies and other nations.
Very few people know that the Cricketers' Benefit Fund Series supports many development programmes, including township development schemes in South Africa.
But what about the Dawood Ibrahim connection? A Delhi-based magazine published your picture with the don
For CBFS, he was a businessman living in Dubai and a supporter of cricket. His company had rented several hospitality boxes at the stadium. He used to come there and watch cricket matches.
The picture you are talking about must have been taken at the stadium itself. There is nothing more to it. In fact, he used to take great interest in the matches and usually rewarded teams and players for their performances.
Do you think the ICC will split?
I think the ICC will become irrelevant if it continues to sit quietly and let things happen. ICC has to make an effort to ensure that all the members are governed by the same rules.
Are you happy with the action taken by the PCB on the basis of the Qayyam report?
The PCB needs to be commended for what they have done. They have banned Salim Malik and Ata-Ur Rehman for life and fined a lot of others for not co-operating with the investigations.
With so little evidence available that is the best they could have done. They may have taken some time over it, but at least they have taken action. The same thing cannot be said about other Boards.
Why did you refuse to depose before the Qayyam commission?
It is not true. I received the summons in Sharjah from the Commission, giving me only three days to appear before it. I wrote back to the Registrar of the Lahore High Court saying I was committed to attend the final of the Asian Test Championship in Dhaka and thereafter would be busy for a few days with the tournament in Sharjah.
I however, added that after these commitments I would be able to attend the inquiry and give whatever assistance I could. They never got back to me even though hearings continued for many more months. I had also informed the PCB about it.