Akram to appeal against fine after return

Published: Thursday, October 12, 2000, 21:40 [IST]
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Nairobi: Pakistan pace bowler and former cricket captain Wasim Akram has said that he will file an appeal against a legal notice issued to him and other players by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for paying match fixing and betting-related fines as recommended by a one-man inquiry commission.

"No the appeal has not been filed as yet by my lawyer, but we did obtain an extension from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) till October 21 to file the appeal. When I return home we'll finalise the documents and file the appeal," Akram was quoted as saying by NNI news agency.

The inquiry commission, headed by Justice Malik Mohammad Qayyam, had in its report submitted to the Pakistan government and the PCB earlier this year, recommended a fine of Rs 300,000 on Akram. It cleared him of match-fixing charges, giving him the benefit of doubt because of lack of evidence.

"I don't want to pay the fine, because I've done nothing wrong. If we pay the fines, it means we are accepting something which we've not done," Akram said. He also expressed hope that with the match fixing issue almost buried in Pakistan, the same would happen regarding the fines.

The Pakistani all-rounder also insisted that though he had gone through hell during the last few years because of the allegations against him, he held no grudges against those who had accused him of match fixing.

"Be it Aamir Sohail, the media or Rashid Latif. I hold nothing in my heart against them. Time and my performances have helped me restore my confidence in the eyes of the people," Akram said.

Akram also said that he had no intention of withdrawing the libel suit he had filed against a leading group of newspapers in Pakistan. "A lot of the media people wrote about the match-fixing issue and about me, but I never felt bad because they were doing their job. They acted honestly by getting my viewpoint while writing on the match-fixing issue."

"But one section of the media targeted me and even wrote about my wife and child, about me going to Sohail's house and begging for his mother's help, without even bothering to get my comments. That's something I'll never forgive. That's why I've no intention of withdrawing the suit," the former captain said.

The match fixing and betting first erupted in Pakistan in 1994, when Australian cricketers Mark Waugh and Shane Warne accused former Pakistan cricket captain Salim Malik of attempting to bribe them to throw away a Test match.

Since then these allegations have surfaced several times, prompting the PCB to launch a probe. The Qayyam inquiry commission was set up in 1998 and after a series of sessions, Justice Qayyam submitted a report that recommended life bans from cricket for Malik and former fast bowler Ata-ur-Rehman and heavy fines on several other cricketers of national standing.

India Abroad News Service

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