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|June 23, 1999||
Pak senator demands probe
Senator Iqbal Haider, who is a member of the senate sub-committee investigating allegations of match-fixing and betting against members of the Pakistan cricket team, has called upon Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif to ask the Ehtesab bureau chief to probe the charges against senior players and the present and previous presidents of Pakistan Cricket Board.
"Since Saif-ur-Rahman makes proud claims of unearthing ill-gotten money, why does he not probe the bank accounts and properties of senior players at home and abroad. The strategy to hide the immoral, shameful and illegal acts of senior players only encouraged them to involve themselves in match-fixing and betting," Haider said.
Haider expressed shock over the repeated dismal and irresponsible performance of the Pakistan cricket team in some matches of the 1999 World Cup, particularly in the final against Australia.
"They played like a 'B' or non-recognised team and made a most disgraceful, record lowest, score in the World Cup final," he said.
He said after investigations by the Ehtesab bureau, a three-member commission comprising judges of the Supreme Court should conduct a trial in respect of all matches played by the Pakistan team since 1995.
"If video films of controversial matches are watched very carefully by experts, they will find proof of match-fixing," he added.
Senator Haider said there had been innumerable allegations about the involvement of senior players in playing for the bookies since 1994 on various foreign tours.
The senate sub-committee had in 1995 taken serious note of such allegations against senior players. At that time the senators were persuaded not to investigate the allegations as the World Cup was to be held in 1996. The result was that Pakistan's performance in the 1996 World Cup was pathetic and the manner in which they lost the quarter-final to India, at Bangalore, strengthened the perception that senior players were involved in match-fixing.
After the 1996 World Cup, the senate committee again started investigations, but had to stop it after a one-man judicial commission was appointed. The said commission very rightly avoided giving any findings just before the 1999 World Cup as it could harm the performance of players, he added. He maintained that the results of the 1999 World Cup were not different and senior players did not refrain from continuing with match-fixing practises and harmed national prestige and honour.
According to Haider, when coach Javed Miandad prevented the players from indulging in match-fixing, the result was that the top brass of the PCB supported match-fixers, instead of Miandad and he had no option but to resign. He demanded that the reasons behind Miandad's resignation be made public and probed.
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