KARACHI - The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has said that its anti-corruption unit was monitoring every match of the ongoing National T20 Championship after former Test batsman Basit Ali alleged that a game was fixed.
Ali alleged that the match between Sialkot Stallions which is being led by allrounder, Shoaib Malik, and the Karachi Dolphins team was fixed. Karachi won the low scoring game with Sialkot's experienced pacer, Rana Naved at one stage even bowling off-spinners. This is not the first time that matches in the National T20 regional event have come under the spotlight in Pakistan.
In 2005 Malik was fined and banned by the PCB after admitting his team threw a game against Karachi Zebras to protest a decision to penalize them for slow over-rate in an earlier game. Two years back Danish Kaneria and Hasan Raza were investigated by the Karachi City Cricket Association after allegations surfaced that their team, Karachi Zebras threw a match against Peshawar Panthers. The PCB said in its response to the media reports with regard to match fixing in the ongoing T-20 Cup that that each domestic match is monitored by the Anti-Corruption Unit of the Board under the PCB Domestic Anti Corruption protocols. "This event is no exception and every single match is being monitored," the release said.
It also said PCB will not comment further on this issue. But on Thursday in the national T20 event being played in Rawalpindi and Islamabad, a serious situation was averted when Ali was removed from the commentator's panel for the match between Sialkot and Islamabad after a strong protest from Malik and his teammates that they couldn't play if Ali was in the commentators’ box.
But former Pakistan captain, Rashid Latif who played a role in bringing the match fixing menace in international cricket to the fore, believed that the board should take Ali's allegations seriously. "He has an astute cricket and sharp eye for the sport and if he is saying a match was fixed I would seriously investigate the matter not try to brush it under the carpet," Latif said.