~~Invitation to golden jubilee celebrations an honour~~

Published: Friday, March 22, 2002, 2:29 [IST]
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Karachi: Disgraced former captain Salim Mallik on Thursday said he was honoured to be invited to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Pakistan's World Cup win and the golden jubilee of Test cricket in the country. "I am honoured and when you are included in the award list it means your services are recognised," said Mallik, who is under a life ban for match-fixing. "I take pride in playing for Pakistan for 18 years and I deserve an award," he told reporters. Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced it would hold a victory dinner on March 30 in Lahore to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the 1992 World Cup win. Pakistan won the fifth World Cup under Imran Khan's captaincy in Australia in 1992 and Mallik, now 37, was part of the team. "I am grateful to PCB and its chairman Lieutenant General Tauqir Zia to send me an invitation and I will definitely attend the ceremony," Mallik said. Pakistan will also celebrate its golden jubilee of Test cricket this year and will honour all its former captains and 171 Test players. Pakistan played its first Test against India in 1952-53 and has also shown interest in playing a commemorative Test against India in October. India, maintaining its cricket boycott of Pakistan over the Kashmir dispute, has ruled out the possibility until tensions between the nuclear rivals subside. The two sides have massed around 800,000 troops on their common border since tension flared following the December attack on the Indian parliament, which New Delhi has blamed on Pakistan-based militants. Pakistan will also host New Zealand in April-May and Australia in October to celebrate its golden jubilee. Mallik played 283 One-day Internationals and 103 Tests between 1981-1999. He also led Pakistan in 12 Tests and 34 Limited Overs games. Mallik was banned for life in May 2000 after a match-fixing inquiry conducted by Justice Mallik Mohammad Qayyum found enough evidence against the batsman to recommend a life ban. The PCB implemented Qayyum's recommendations and barred Mallik from all international and first class cricket and from holding any cricketing office. His appeal against the life ban will be heard at Lahore High Court on April "I hope to get my name cleared after this appeal and hope that justice will be done to me," he said.

Photo gallery: Zim in India

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