Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Tainted out of practice

In a dramatic twist to the ‘spot-fixing’ scandal that has rocked world cricket, three tainted Pakistan players — Test captain Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif — were on Tuesday barred from practice at Taunton and asked to return to London for a meeting with top Pakistan officials.

The development came amid intense increasing pressure on the Pakistan Cricket Board from their English counterparts to take strict action against the cricketers.

Meanwhile, sources in the team are now saying that Test captain Butt was responsible for the clout that bookie and player agent Mazhar Majeed enjoyed in the team.

Asif had also reportedly told the investigators that it was Butt who had introduced Majeed to the players.

Pakistan team manager Yawar Saeed said that the three players did not have nets with the rest of the team because they were preparing for a meeting at the Pakistan high commission in London on Wednesday.

“The three are not practising and they have to go to London to attend the meeting at the High Commission in connection with the ongoing investigations into spot-fixing,” Yawar said.

Although Yawar did not specify whether the three players would be subjected to another round of interrogation by the Scotland Yard, there was speculation that the players could be questioned again. However, there was no official confirmation yet.

Pakistan has retained all the three players named in the scandal in their one-day squad for the series against England and the team play a practice match at Taunton on Thursday.

Yawar said that the three players had been called to the High Commission where the high commissioner has invited a leading British legal expert to be present along with PCB chairman Ejaz Butt.

“In all probability, the PCB chief and the High Commissioner will talk to the players in front of the legal expert and take a decision on future course of action in the investigations,” a team source said.

He said the decision to not allow the three players to practice with the team came after a meeting held between one-day captain Shahid Afridi, Yawar, coach Waqar Younis and the PCB chairman.

“The idea apparently is that the players accused of fixing should be kept away from media glare and have been told to remain indoors in the hotel to avoid more controversies,” the source added.

The players have been accused by a 35-year-old Pakistan bookie Mazhar Majeed of taking bribes to do spot fixing during the fourth Test at Lord’s against England.


Post a Comment

Clicky Web Analytics Clicky