No probe into contacts by bookies: Pakistan cricket board


Karachi : The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Saturday expressed surprise over the demands of a probe into an alleged effort by bookmakers to contact national cricketers in Sri Lanka, saying that such an exercise is out of its domain.

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A PCB statement said that the International Cricket Council (ICC) has strict regulations to stop match-fixing and that the matter was referred to the game’s governing body.

“Match fixing in all the ICC matches are monitored by ICC under the supervision of Lord Condon. Currently there are one or two senior staff of ICC in Sri Lanka ensuring complete control over the match fixing. How does PCB come into this matter? The matter was reported by the PCB staff in Sri Lanka to the concerned official of the ICC in Sri Lanka and they took some urgent steps in this regard,” said the statement.

Former PCB chairman General (retd) Tauqir Zia and ex-chief selector Abdul Qadir had Friday demanded a comprehensive probe into reports that Pakistani cricketers were approached by alleged bookmakers during the first two tests in Galle and Colombo last month.

“It is very surprising to note in today’s papers the statement by Gen. Tauqir Zia and Mr Abdul Qadir regarding match fixing in Colombo. May be Mr. Qadir is not aware of the control mechanism for match fixing, but we are sure Gen. Tauqir Zia would be aware of the match fixing controls,” said the PCB statement.

Apart from Zia and Qadir, a key member of the PCB had also raised the issue. Muhammad Ali Shah, a member of the PCB Governing Board and sports minister of the southern province of Sindh, said that it is an important issue and should be discussed thoroughly. Shah said he will raise it during the next meeting of the PCB governing board.

Reports surfaced earlier this week that Pakistani players were approached by suspicious characters at their team hotel during the two Colombo Tests.

The reports quoted Pakistan manager Yawar Saeed saying that some of the players had complained to him about the presence of undesirable people in the team hotel. Saeed also said that the matter was raised with the hotel management after which the Pakistan team members were shifted to another floor.

However, Saeed later denied making such remarks.

“No such thing happened,” Saeed was quoted as saying in an interview.

“There are usually many other guests at the hotel, who want autographs and photographs with the players, and then maybe invite them for a coffee or something. I just instructed the players not to go out with people they didn’t know from before. And that is the usual protocol.”

Pakistan captain Younis Khan gave a different view on the issue saying that no such incident took place. “No bookie has approached me. If ever one does, I will catch him and hand him over to ICC because these people have destroyed the game,” he said.