Govt probe to clear Pak of World Cup ~~fix~~ charges

Published: Saturday, March 9, 2002, 1:28 [IST]
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Lahore: A government probe into cricket World Cup match-fixing allegations to be released later this month will clear Pakistan of match-fixing, official sources said on Friday.

"The report will be made public later this month but there are no bombshells. The inquiry conceded that Pakistan's World Cup defeats were not fixed and no player is found involved," an official source said. Lahore High court judge Justice Karamat Bhandari has been investigating whether Pakistan's two defeats in the 1999 World Cup held in England were fixed. Pakistan's surprising 62-run defeat at the hands of minnows Bangladesh in the league phase and a 47-run loss against arch rivals India in the Super Six stages were widely suspected of being rigged. The inquiry will also clear Pakistani umpire Javed Akhtar. Akhtar was alleged to be on the bookmaker's pay roll after he gave eight leg before decisions in the 1998 Leeds Test, which led to South Africa losing the series to England. The report, sent to President Pervez Musharraf in January, will also be presented to the International Cricket Council, which formed an Anti-Corruption Unit in 2000 to curb the problem that has rocked the game. Around 22 former and current players, officials, bookmakers and journalists had recorded statements before the Bhandari commission. The inquiry was, however, hampered by South African official Ali Bacher's refusal to testify. Bacher, a former managing director of the United Cricket Board of South Africa and now the head of the 2003 World Cup committee, alleged in June 2000 that Pakistan played two fixed games in the 1999 World Cup. Bacher said the information was passed to him by former Pakistan captain Majid Khan. Khan confirmed Bacher's statement when he testified before the commission in September last year. Five members of Pakistan's 1999 World cup team which finished runners-up to Australia - then captain Wasim Akram, current captain Waqar Younis, Moin Khan, Inzamam-ul Haq and Saeed Anwar - denied the allegations before the commission.

Match-fixers will not be spared, says Bharti
Focus: Match-fixing

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