Post by Dr. Jai Mahar » Tue, 16 May 2000 04:00:00

Match-fixing among Pak players took place since 1994 -- Report

By Anjali Mody

London, May 14 - Depositions to Justice Malik Qayyum's
investigations confirm that match-fixing has been
widespread among Pakistani players since 1994. Excerpts
from the investigation report published by The Observer
newspaper reveal a system in which "deliberate run-outs
of team-mates, the intentional bowling of wides, byes and
easy-to-hit bouncers, slowing down the run rate, and
bizarre adjustments to the batting order'' were used to
lose test matches.

The depositions tell tales of dressing-room fights over
bookies' money, ofplayers declining to name names because
they feared for the safety of theirfamilies and of the
harassment of those players who refused to get involvedin
match-fixing. There are instances given on in-form
batsmen being asked toretire hurt and of a stand-in
captain being chastised for conjuring twoquick wickets.

One senior cricketer told the investigation in October
1998 that therewere only four Pakistan players "whom I
consider absolutely clean''. Anotherplayer, not named for
legal reasons, said, "I can't disclose the names of the
main culprits, though as a matter of fact, the entire
team is involved inmatch-fixing and betting except one

A now retired player, referring to Pakistan's 1994 tour
of New Zealand saidhe was told "we have to lose the
match'' as a deal had been struck. He said:"I was offered
thousands of dollars. I told him (a member of the team)
Iwould think about it. There were also four or five other
players and it wasobvious that they must also have been
offered money.'' He had decided not tobe a party to
match-fixing. The next morning, he was reprimanded when
he took a catch. He was told again, "We have to lose this

New Zealand won that game by seven wickets. In that game,
one player told theinvestigation intentional wides were
bowled: "There was a threat of the match being washed out
due to rain, which led the bowlers to bowl deliberately
in (a) way that the scoring rate could be accelerated.''
He also alleged that two deliveries were deliberately
bowled so wide that both resulted in four byes.

A bookmaker told the investigation that "most of the
matches played byPakistan and other teams are fixed''. He
revealed he had paid two players"$100,000... on behalf of
someone for fixing a match in Sri Lanka. Theamount was
paid so that Pakistan should lose, which they did''.

Said a prominent Pakistan official in his evidence: "I
was absolutely surethat match-fixing and betting was
going on in the Pakistan team.'' He thenoutlined the
problem of gaining concrete evidence from a certain
player, whohad verbally told him that he had been told by
the twelfth man, not to playwell:"I asked him to make the
statement in writing. He promised to come over to me and
do the needful. Later on, he informed me that he could
not do the needful as promised because his brother was
threatened by direconsequences... if he delivered the
statement in writing.''

Another leading Pakistani figure confirmed the story of a
paceman being paidby one of his colleagues to bowl badly.
He said in 1994, he had gone tothe Pakistani board "...
and said that stern action should be taken againstthe
culprits, even though other players might subsequently
lose matches. In my opinion, expediency came in the way
of the administrators in imposing somepunishment as at
that time the Pakistan team was very strong and they did
notwant to disrupt it.''

The evidence will make it harder for the Pakistani
cricket authorities toproduce a face-saving version of
Justice Qayyum's report. It also blows thelid on Pakistan
cricket board chairman, Lieutenant General Tauqir
Zia'sassessment that there was "no planned match-fixing''
by the Pakistan side.

Justice Qayyum has already contradicted the claim of
Pakistan's cricket officials that his investigation has
cleared its players of wrong doing. He says he
recommended a life ban for Salim Malik and stringent
punishments for Mushtaq Ahmad and Wasim Akram.

Last week, Zia had said the Justice Qayyum report, to be
made public soon, found "no planned match-fixing'' by the
whole team. He said, "Pakistan's image will not be
stained over this: we are giving a lesson to others.''

But Justice Qayyum, who has waited seven months for the
release of his report, has disclosed some of his most
damning recommendations to The Sunday Telegraph (ST).
When asked whether he recommended a life ban for former
Pakistan captain Salim Malik, the Justice said, "That is
correct''. Had he also suggested a similar punishment for
Mushtaq Ahmed? "I can't say, but the answer isn't no,''
he said. Asked what was in store for Wasim Akram, Justice
Qayyum said, "I can tell you that he has not got off

Commenting on Zia's interpretation of his report, Justice
Qayyum told the ST:"It depends on how you look at it. He
is looking from a certain angle and there can be another
way of looking at it. But I don't know from what angle he
is looking. The one thing he is right in saying is that
there was no planned match-fixing by the team as a

Zia's statement has raised questions about whether the
Pakistan cricket authorities are aiming for a cover-up.
However, Justice Qayyum's comments to the ST and his
threat to publish his report should the Pakistan board
produce a different version, will make this a dangerous
course of action. In the current environment, the ICC
will have to act decisively and suspending Pakistan from
international cricket will be its only option.

Monday, May 15, 2000
The Indian Express, via News Plus
Om Shanti

  TSP = Terrorist State of Pakistan

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