Ex-PCB chief Khalid fears fixing scandal to be buried again

LAHORE - Former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Khalid Mehmood has feared that the current spot-fixing issue will be buried in the same way, it was handled in the past.

Talking to Waqt TV programme ‘Game Beat’, Khalid said: “How can the PCB high ups, who themselves are appointed on political basis, impartially investigate the matter.” He feared that the pressure from different sources could affect the probe.

Raising fingers on the performance of the PCB, he said that the steps taken by the board were not satisfactory and couldn’t help root out corruption and fixing from the game of gentlemen.

He explained the board called back only two players – Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif – but didn’t take action against their associates. “Without taking action against them, how could fixing be rooted out from cricket.”

He said that so far no solid were evidences made public. He elaborated that the board first put question mark on the credibility of M Iran but later, he was also given opportunity to play in the Pakistan Super League. “Although Irfan was not made part of the preliminary squad for the West Indies tour and was summoned for further investigation, yet such steps are not satisfactory to sort out the real issue,” he added.

He accused former PCB chairman Mujibur Rehman of patronizing the corrupt players by not taking appropriate action against them and the practice of showing leniency towards corruption was kept continued by his successors. Moreover, he said, they gave opportunity to the same players as were charged with corruption.

Also in 1990s, when the spot-fixing issue aggravated to great extent, the cricket board officials remained constraint only to press statements, no practical were taken and there were no solid proofs with regard to spot-fixing issue except the statement of Atta-ur-Rehman, who also withdrew from his stance later. At that time, all the then players including Ramiz Raja, could provide proofs against the spot-fixing but none of them bothered to do so.

Khalid remembered the Pakistan cricket team’s defeat at the hands of the then minnows Bangladesh saying, “We are still unable to digest that humiliation. He suspected that that Pakistan-Bangladesh match was fixed. On the defeat, he said he had talked to various cricket officials including the then manager Zafar Altaf (late) and coach Mushtaq Muhammad but nobody answered satisfactorily.

The former PCB chief said that the statement of IPC Minister Riaz Hussain Pirzada spoke volumes about the government’s determination to eliminate corruption from cricket affairs.

Earlier, the minister had said, “The players have just played two dot balls, not attempted to kill anyone,” showing that spot-fixing is not worrisome issue. “With such mentality and approach of government high ups, it is too tough to get rid of fixing saga,” Khalid said.



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