The article suggests that England is pushing for a two year ban on
Wasim and Mushie. If Justice Qayyum had imposed the bans I wouldn't
have any problem at all. But England has no business presuring
Pakistan to suspend players. I would recommend that Pak board tell
the English board to go to hell and cancel the English tour to
Pakistan in October. Who needs these them. Let them go and play
Aussies for another six test series so that Warne can pad up his stats
a bit more :-)
ICC credibility at stake again
By Trevor Marshallsea, AAP
The International Cricket Council's credibility and that of the sport
itself go on the line again over the next five days as the governing
body meets once more to tackle the biggest crisis in the game's
But with relations stretched within the body over the match fixing
scandal - largely on an Asian/non-Asian divide - and in light of the
ICC's track record for ineffectiveness, few are holding their breath
for a massive breakthrough.
The spotlight will focus on former Australian Cricket Board chairman
Malcolm Gray as he takes up an enormous challenge as the body's new
president, succeeding controversial Indian Jagmohan Dalmiya.
Figures of influence in cricket have called for drastic measures to
save the game's reputation and indeed its future - including boosting
prizemoney to lessen the lure of ***, and cutting back the number
of meaningless one day tournaments where corruption has its best
chance to flourish.
But realistically, the biggest step envisaged from the annual meeting
is that the ICC will name the legal figure who will lead the new
independent anti-corruption commission announced at its emergency
meeting last month.
The commission and its chief are expected to act as an overlord, with
initial responsibility for corruption investigations still to remain
with each country, and the commission to review such inquiries and
take over if it deems them inadequate.
Debate is also expected to take place on whether a range of new
penalties for match fixing announced at last month's emergency meeting
can be invoked retrospectively.
Despite legal opinion that this would at best be difficult, some see
it as necessary since adequate laws were not in place to deal with
match fixing before its relatively recent eruption.
England, for example, is expected to push for two-year bans to be
imposed on Pakistan's Wasim Akram and Mushtaq Ahmed following their
naming in judge Malik Mohammad Qayyum's recent inquiry.
The pair were among seven Pakistan players recommended for censure or
fine for bringing the game into disrepute or failing to cooperate with
England's stance on this is in turn expected to further inflame
tensions between it and Pakistan, with some tipping it could lead to
the cancellation of England's visit to Pakistan in October.
The match-fixing row is already said to have opened up bitter
rivalries within world cricket, with a power struggle ensuing between
historic forces England and Australia and the Asian teams of Pakistan,
India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, who are said to resent a perceived
lack of respect at the political level.
The Pakistan and India boards have also called for South African
cricket supremo Ali Bacher to be punished for raising match-rigging
allegations Pakistan played in two fixed matches at last year's World
``I think the ... meeting would be a hot meeting,'' PCB chairman
General Tauqir Zia said.
``We will definitely ask the governing body to take a strong action
Leading commentators here are looking to the ICC to launch a new era,
to deal with and rise above the slur of corruption, and to put behind
it the tenure of its outgoing president.
Dalmiya, who rose to power through the votes of minor ICC members and
without a majority from the nine Test playing nations, has been forced
to deny allegations of involvement in shady deals for the awarding of
lucrative television rights for cricket on the sub-continent.
But apart from the fact Dalmiya is standing down, hopes for
meaningful, resuscitating progress are held more in optimism than
``There have been a lot of promises of action from the ICC over the
years and nothing has materialised,'' said Matthew Engel, who recently
finished an eight-year term as editor of cricket's annual bible,
``The ICC has an appalling track record of being able to agree on
Engel said the body needed to create an atmosphere where corruption
could not flourish - including boosting prizemoney and reducing the
number of inconsequential one day tournaments, though he admitted
there were too many vested interests at stake for this to stand a
The ICC also needed to beef up its investigations into corruption, and
to ``come clean on what it knows and has known'' about corruption,
What's agreed is that lovers of the ancient game around the world will
look to Gray, who will front a concluding press conference on Monday
with his chief executive, another Australian David Richards, who
himself has been forced to deny allegations of inaction against fixing
``Malcolm Gray has a big challenge to try to get a hold of the game
after it has drifted under the Dalmiya regime and to see if he can
provide leadership,'' Engel said.
``While the president doesn't have enormous powers, he at least has
``This is the biggest challenge facing the game in its history.
``It's good at least to have a new president who will come in with a
clean sheet and who is not tainted by the past.
``Malcolm Gray's a good man. He needs to be a great man.''