ICC probed players before clearing them to play for Pakistan

Published: Wednesday, October 12, 2011, 13:00 [IST]
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ICC probed PAK players before clearance

Karachi, Oct 12: The ICC and the Metropolitan police in London thoroughly investigated the alleged involvement of several Pakistani players in spot-fixing during last year's tour of England before clearing them to play for their national team.

A Pakistan Cricket Board official said on Wednesday that players including Wahab Riaz and Kamran Akmal were only cleared to play for Pakistan after the ICC told the PCB it had no objection to them playing for Pakistan.

During proceedings of the spot-fixing trial going on at the Southwark London court against Pakistani players, Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer and their Pakistani but London based agent Mazhar Majeed, the court has been told about how some other Pakistani players were also allegedly working for Majeed in the spot-fixing racket.

In audio tapes played at the court, Majeed told undercover journalist Mazhar Mahmood about how he had several Pakistani players in his pocket besides Butt, Aamer and Asif and went on to name Wahab, Kamran, Umar Akmal, Imran Farhat etc in this regard.

While Butt, Aamer and Asif were banned by the ICC for their involvement in spot-fixing, the other players went on to play for Pakistan at different times and Wahab and Farhat are still members of the squad announced for the Test series against Sri Lanka in the UAE.

But the PCB official said the four players were investigated in detail last year when their names were first taken by Majeed.

"The ICC and even the metropolitan police investigated the claims by Majeed as they were given recordings of the audio and video conversations recorded by Mazhar Mahmood and they did a thorough investigation and found nothing implicating these players in any wrong doing," the official said.

The official said this was the reason why they were cleared to play for Pakistan.

Wahab, in fact, was questioned for many hours by the Metropolitan police in London during the tour last year in England.

The PCB official also made it clear that they were closely following the ongoing trial in London and had also sent their legal advisor Tafazzul Rizvi to observe proceedings in court.

"If any situation arises where it is necessary for the PCB to get involved we will do that but for now we are just observing the trial," he added.

Mazhar Majeed agent to several Pakistani players made several sensational claims in his conversations with the undercover reporter which are now being heard by the court. He claimed that Australian and Indian players were also involved in spot-fixing.

Cricket Australia has already dismissed the claims made by Majeed and described him as a person of dubious repute while one Indian player named by Majeed questioned who he (Mazhar Majeed) was.

The defence team for former captain, Salman Butt is also planning to destroy Majeed's reputation and has already cited several of the wild claims made by him in his conversations with the undercover reporter.

A well informed source said that one reason for wicktkeeper, Kamran Akmal also being kept under scrutiny by the board and having to seek clearance from the integrity committee after the England tour was because of the allegations made by Majeed.


Read more about: icc, pcb, pakistan cricket
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