Jadeja verdict spurs hopes of exoneration in Mallik

Published: Tuesday, January 28, 2003, 21:43 [IST]
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Karachi: Banned former Pakistan captain Salim Mallik welcomed on Tuesday the overturning of a ban on former Indian star Ajay Jadeja for match-fixing and said it should help him fight his life ban from the game. "I am really very happy to hear that Jadeja is relieved and he may revive his cricket career and am confident this will help me in my fight to quash a life ban," Mallik said. An arbitrator appointed by the Delhi High Court on Monday overturned a five-year ban imposed on Jadeja by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), saying there was no proof he was guilty. "This proves that there has been no evidence of match-fixing in the probes conducted and I would be able to prove my innocence," said Mallik, who played 103 Tests and 283 One-day Internationals for Pakistan from 1981-1999. "I will try to acquire a copy of the Delhi High Court decision to supplement my case," said the 39-year-old Mallik, whose name was mentioned in the Indian match- fixing inquiry. Mallik and two other international captains - the late Hansie Cronje of South Africa and Mohammed Azharuddin of India - were banned for life from cricket on charges of match-fixing and taking money from bookmakers. Cronje, the only banned player to confess taking money from bookmakers, died in a plane crash in June last year. Australian players Shane Warne, Tim May and Mark Waugh alleged Mallik offered them a bribe to under-perform during Australia's tour of Pakistan in 1994. Pakistan conducted a comprehensive probe between September 1998 and October 1999 and the one-man commission of Justice Mallik Mohammad Qayyam recommended life bans on Mallik and former pacer Ata-ur-Rehman. Six others including current captain Waqar Younis and Wasim Akram were fined. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) implemented the recommendations in May 2000. Mallik's appeal against the ban was rejected by the Lahore High Court in May last year. "I am waiting for a date in the Supreme Court and have always maintained that I will fight till I am cleared," Mallik said. Mallik said he still follows international cricket and thinks Australia will lift next month's World Cup. "All the top teams look the same at international level but if you take into account performance of the last two years I think Australia will clinch the Cup," Mallik predicted. "Pakistan is also a good side and if it plays up to its potential it can surprise other teams."

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