Thatscricket - ODI Series - India~~s tour of Pakistan- ICC~~s ultimatum on match fixing; Put up or shut up

Published: Monday, March 29, 2004, 18:30 [IST]
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London:World cricket's governing body issued a 'put up or shut up' notice to all those making allegations of match-fixing in the ongoing Pakistan-India series, saying it needed evidence not speculation before it could treat the claims seriously.

International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive Malcolm Speed said in a statement Wednesday: "We have all seen the opinions of various people that have been aired in the media and they all share a common theme - they are all long on speculation but short on evidence."

His comments came after former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif alleged the fourth One-day International against India was fixed.

Latif went on television on Monday night to claim that Sunday's game was "fixed" after India fought back from the brink to win by five wickets and level the five-match series 2-2.

It was an amazing match with India recovering from 94 for four to pass Pakistan's seemingly unbeatable 293 for nine with five overs to spare.

But Speed, a lawyer by profession, added: "If these allegations are to be treated seriously the people making these claims need to substantiate their claims or withdraw them. To attack the integrity of the game and the players taking part in this series without proof is entirely inappropriate and does nothing to actually address the threat of corruption," the Australian added after India won the decider in Lahore by 40 runs.

And Speed rejected suggestions that the ICC's Anti Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) lacked the resources to properly supervise international matches.

"The ICC now has in place an experienced and well-resourced team to deal with these types of issues," he said.

"Like every match on the international calendar, every game in this series has been closely examined and a thorough report will be prepared for the ICC as it is for every international series.The ACSU team is in Pakistan and it is alert to the dangers posed by the amount of betting that is taking place on these matches."

"In this series, like every other series in international cricket, every aspect of the ICC's comprehensive programme to protect the game against corruption is being implemented.

"The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and both teams have worked with the ICC to ensure that these systems are in place to protect the game and the players.

"For example, access to dressing rooms is strictly controlled, closed circuit television guards the entrance to changing rooms and the use of mobile phones is strictly managed. With the people and processes now in place for international cricket matches the ICC has built a strong defence against the dangers of corruption."

India and Pakistan will now play a three-game Test series starting in Multan on Sunday.

PCB chiefs have said they are considering taking legal action against Rashid, branding his comments "unpatriotic and shameful".

Latif, regarded as the original whistle-blower in the match-fixing scandal which hit cricket in 2000, laughed off the threat. "I will be willing to face any court action," Latif said in Pakistan.

Wicketkeeper Latif walked out of Pakistan's tour of Zimbabwe in 1995 in protest at what he said was then captain Salim Malik's links with bookmakers.

Malik was later banned for life from the game along with two other Test captains, the late Hansie Cronje of South Africa and Mohammad Azharuddin of India, when the scandal snowballed into a major crisis.

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