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PCB blasts Sarfraz, Latif

April 03, 2004 14:58 IST

Coming down heavily on former players Sarfraz Nawaz and Rashid Latif, a top PCB official said allegations of match-fixing were an insult to the Indians as well as the spirit with which the matches were being played.

Terming their allegations as "irresponsible" and "bizarre", Pakistan Cricket Board CEO Ramiz Raja said such charges were unacceptable as "already a lot of damage has been done to Pakistan cricket".

"Sarfraz must be the most irresponsible cricketer living today. He has been an embarrassment for the cricket establishment for years now," Raja said.

"Rashid only brings up the match-fixing issue when he is not in the team, and needs to be taken on as well," he was  quoted as saying in the Pakistan local daily 'The News'.

"Such baseless allegations are an insult to the Indians as well as to the spirit in which this series is being played," he said.

Raja, himself a former cricketer, said he respected Latif but the wicketkeeper-batsman was jeopardising his future by issuing reckless statements.

"He has not only upset his team-mates and colleagues by his fresh allegations but also hurt the Board. He is hurting  his future by behaving like this.

"It would be a tragedy if the Board is forced to move against someone like Rashid but he has to grow up and realise  that we will not allow any more allegations without proof.

Already a lot of damage has been done to Pakistan cricket," he said.

Latif made the allegations after Pakistan lost the fourth one-day international against India in Lahore.

Furious with his allegations, the daily said, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf banned telecast of the television show in which Latif had made the charge and PCB threatened to sue him.

Raja said the allegations, without any proof, during such an important series were not acceptable.

"I have nothing personal against Rashid. I have always respected him and supported him. But for him to make such a serious allegation without proof in the middle of an important series is completely unacceptable," he said.

The PCB chief executive said "I don't want to see a situation where he loses all his credibility and is bracketed with other unpopular personalities.

"We know what his role for Pakistan cricket has been. But that does not mean he can go around shooting his mouth off without any proof," he said.

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