Thatscricket - News - Bacher rejects Pakistan court summons
Published: Friday, February 2, 2001, 15:00 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2000
Johannesburg: Former South African cricket chief Ali Bacher said on Friday he would ignore a summons to appear in a Pakistan court to defend a libel suit brought by former Test umpire Javed Akhtar.Akhtar sued for $ 1.7-million following evidence given by Bacher to the King Commission into cricket corruption in Cape Town last June. A civil court in Rawalpindi issued a summons to Bacher on Thursday. But Bacher said in a statement issued in Johannesburg on Friday, "My evidence before the King Commission was given as a result of my Board and the South African Government urging me to fully disclose any information known to me concerning match-fixing and corruption in cricket.""I believe that I have honestly and openly testified and trust that this evidence will assist in some way to stamp out corruption in world cricket. I do not intend to be drawn into litigation in Pakistan, particularly in view of the fact that I have been advised that the Pakistani Court does not have jurisdiction in this matter.Bacher told the King Commission that an Indian bookmaker, who he named only as "Mr R", had told him that one of the biggest bookmakers in Karachi had flown to England before the fifth Test between England and South Africa at Leeds in August 1998 "to ensure that his client complied".Bacher said he had previously asked the bookmaker whether Akhtar could have been "bought". When Bacher and the bookmaker met again in Mumbai in February 2000 "Mr R" referred to their previous conversation and told him, "The umpire concerned was on the payroll"Bacher said many dubious decisions had been made in that match by Akhtar, who was the "neutral" umpire appointed by the International Cricket Council.Bacher was managing director of the United Cricket Board of South Africa when he appeared before the King Commission. He is now chief executive of the 2003 World Cup organising committee.Akhtar gave nine leg before wicket decisions in the match, eight against South Africa of which Bacher said seven were regarded as dubious. England won the series-deciding match by 23 runs.