Pak to extend full support to ICC probe

Published: Thursday, May 24, 2001, 18:38 [IST]
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Karachi: Pakistani cricket officials on Wednesday hailed the International Cricket Council's (ICC) anti-corruption unit (ACU) report and offered full co-operation in the eradication of corruption from cricket. "This is a good research by Paul Condon," Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Lieutenant General Tauqir Zia said of the ACU chief's 35-page report on match-fixing. "They look very keen to go ahead with this investigation and we will co-operate with them because we also want elimination of corruption from cricket," Zia told AFP. The report released earlier on Wednesday said cricket remains in the grip of match- fixers who could resort to murder, kidnap and threats to keep a lid on the sport's greatest scandal. It said match-fixing was rife even after life bans were imposed on three former captains, Hansie Cronje of South Africa, Mohammad Azharuddin of India and Salim Malik of Pakistan. "As far as our internal audit is concerned we always go through such process not from the match-fixing point of view but from the performance point of view." The PCB chief said he had not received complaints from any player or official about threats to their lives linked to cricket corruption but a former police officer Akhtar Siddiqui confirmed pressure on some players. "I have investigated a complaint in 1995 from two Pakistani cricketers who had asked for police guard as they were under threat from a bookie and the complaint was genuine," Siddiqui told AFP. "I was asked by my senior officers to probe the matter and the complaint was found true and the two players were under serious life threat," he said, refusing to identify the players by name. He said police guards were provided to the complainants. Former Pakistani Test cricketer Haseeb Ahsan also welcomed the report and demanded implementation of its recommendations. "It was long over due from the prime cricket body like ICC to investigate match-fixing and now it must ensure its implementation in all the cricket playing nations," said Ahsan who had served as chief selector for PCB. "All those players should be dropped or barred from the team who have been suspected in match-fixing and ICC must draw some parameters about such players," he said. Former captain and ex-team manager Intikhab Alam said in the past PCB had taken measures to curb match-fixing. "Pakistan has conducted judicial inquiry into match- fixing, imposing life ban and fined cricketers," he said. "What more any country could do to curb match-fixing than banning players for life," he said.

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