ICL under match-fixing cloud

Published: Monday, August 10, 2009, 9:41 [IST]
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ICL under match-fixing cloud

Karachi: ICL has been hit by the match fixing charge, after the release of an audio tape in which two Pak Cricket Board officials were seen talking about games being fixed.

Several media men received this audio tape from an unknown e-mail address and and was also uploaded on youtube.

The tapes shows Pakistan national selection committee member Mohammad Illyas telling PCB chief operating officer Saleem Altaf about how matches were fixed in the ICL.

Illyas is referring to the first edition of the ICL, a league in which his son-in-law Imran Farhat also took part.

Illyas, a former Pakistan Test player, tells how several Pakistani playes fixed matches and also how a discarded Test batsman used to go out to bat drunk in the unauthorised league which has now dwindled out.

Incidentally, the audio tape has nothing much coming from Altaf who is heard saying mostly "yes, yes, okay, okay".

However, Illyas, when contacted, denied that it was his voice on the tape.

"The voice has been doctored. Someone is trying to damage Pakistan cricket and why would I say something to jeopardise the career of my son-in-law," Illyas said.

But a former official of the Pakistan Cricket Board, who was in a key position during the tenure of former PCB chief Dr Nasim Ashraf, admitted that the tape was from a collection of recordings made of the telephone line of Saleem Altaf on the instructions of Ashraf.

"The telephone conversations of Altaf were being taped secretly and he didn't know about it. But it is wrong if someone has released publicly what is a private and confidential tape," the official said.

Ashraf had sacked Altaf from his position as COO in July, 2008 on the basis of his taped conversations in which the former Test bowler was accused of leaking out confidential information of the board.

Altaf took the PCB to court and was re-appointed after Ejaz Butt took over as Board President.

When contacted Altaf said he had heard about the audio tape but not listened to it.

"Illyas has this habit of even talking on heresay information. Everyone knows that. But if anything it must have been a general conversation nothing more," he said.


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