M A I N   N E W S

More muck flies off match-fixing scam
Wads of currency point to bungling in other matches too

London/New Delhi, August 30
The match-fixing scandal rocking Pakistan cricket got deeper today with reports of more games being rigged pouring in even as ICC demanded the sacking of players whose names have cropped up as suspects.

ICC president Sharad Pawar spoke to PCB chairman Ijaz Butt and is understood to have urged for action against Mohammad Asif, Mohammad Aamir and Salman Butt, who captained the just-concluded Test series against England.

Pawar’s advice to Butt came in the wake of reports that senior England players are reluctant to play the ODI and T20 series unless the suspect players are dropped. The sources said that ECB officials made their position clear to Pawar, who then called up Butt and apprised him of the development.

Meanwhile, the sting operation carried out by British tabloid 'The News of the World', which implicated seven Pakistani players, including captain Butt, has opened a Pandora's box, with fresh reports suggesting that the opening Test between England and Pakistan and the January Sydney Test between Pakistan and Australia could have been fixed.

The ICC top brass had a teleconference to discuss the issue after which it was made clear that Pakistan’s T20 and ODI series against England will continue as scheduled.

“It is the desire of the ICC, England and Pakistan that the game is continued,” Pawar said after talking over phone with top ICC officials, PCB chairman Butt and ECB chairman Giles Clarke.

Pakistan and England square off in two Twenty20 Internationals (September 5 and 7) before playing five ODIs from September 10-22. But as the Pakistan team quietly boarded the bus for going to Taunton, angry fans shouted "chor, chor" and other abuses. Pawar said that besides the London police, anti-corruption unit of the ICC is also preparing a report. The world body will take action after studying both the investigations and a report from the PCB.

"I had a detailed discussion with Giles Clarke, Ijaz Butt, ICC vice-president Alan Issac, CEO Haroon Lorgat, anti-corruption wing in-charge Ravi Sawani and a few officials of ICC. We discussed in depth the Pakistani players' issue. One thing is that the British police have not completed their investigation. Neither any player has been interrogated," he said. "Until and unless the British authorities complete investigation, which we hope will be done in two-three days, and establish there is prima facie case, it is difficult for the PCB to take appropriate action," he said. "ICC is waiting for the British police to complete investigation. ACSU is also looking into the details. It is also preparing a report in two-three days. The report by British police and ACSU will give us a proper picture. — PTI





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