PCB asks ICC for evidence against Akram

Published: Sunday, March 30, 2003, 21:17 [IST]
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Islamabad: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has asked the International Cricket Council (ICC) to provide any evidence of corruption and match-fixing against former captain Wasim Akram. The PCB request to the ICC for fresh or old evidence has come just before it begins to hear Akram's appeal against the fine and other sanctions imposed on him by the Justice Malik Qayyum match-fixing inquiry commission. The move comes after Zakir Khan, a PCB official constituting the one man inquiry committee appointed to review the strictures passed by a judicial commission in 2000, withdrew at the last minute stating that he was a close friend of Akram and therefore constrained to take a fair view of case. Khan earlier absolved former fast bowler Ata-ur-Rahman who was indicted by a Jusitce Qayyum for perjury in his match-fixing report after the cricketer filed for a review of his case. Akram too approached the Lahore High Court which in turn asked the PCB Committee to review the strictures against him. Elaborating on PCB's request for the ICC to provide evidence against Akram, a PCB official was quoted as saying by 'The News' on Sunday that, "The report of Justice Qayyum Commission has been ratified by the ICC, its executive board and code of conduct commission. Before any moves are made to hear the appeals of affected players by the Board against the sanctions imposed on them, the Board needs to get clearance from the ICC and its Anti-Corruption Unit." The Qayyum Commission after its extensive inquiry in May 2000 imposed a fine on Akram and recommended that he must not be made captain again at any level of the game. PCB officials said that even before hearing Rahman's appeal the PCB had sent a similar letter to the ICC which said its Anti-Corruption Unit or code of conduct commission had no evidence linking him with match-fixing. The PCB later set aside the life ban and fine imposed on Rahman by the Qayyum Commission after hearing his appeal petition. "Similarly since the special committee constituted by the Board is now scheduled to start hearing the appeal of Akram, it wants a clear answer from the ICC if its anti-corruption unit has gathered any new evidence against him," the PCB officials said. They said that the if ICC accepted that it had no evidence against Akram's involvement, it would become easier for the Board to hear out his appeal next month. "The PCB does not want a situation where after it clears Wasim of the match- fixing sanctions, the ICC comes up with objections and evidence," they said. The ICC has already informed the PCB during its recent executive board meeting in Johannesburg that Justice Karamat Bhandari's inquiry report into allegations that Pakistan had played 'fixed' matches against Bangladesh and India in the 1999 World Cup was incomplete. The ICC was of the view that Justice Bhandari's report submitted with it did not include all the testimonies given by witnesses, nor the submissions given by the Anti-Corruption Unit headed by Sir Paul Condon. PTI

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