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PCB slams fixing allegation

March 22, 2004 20:58 IST

The Pakistan cricket establishment lashed out at those suggesting that bookies may have been involved in India's series-levelling victory over Pakistan in the fourth one-dayer in Lahore.

Shaharyar Khan and Rameez Raja, Chairman and CEO of the Pakistan Cricket Board respectively, told a press conference that the suggestions are the worst thing that could have happened for the historic series.

India vice-captain Rahul Dravid, who guided India to a five-wicket win on Sunday, was asked how upset he was by the rumours. He responded by saying, "It is silly and I do not get upset by such silly remarks."

The rumours began making the rounds as Dravid and Mohammad Kaif inched close towards the victory target and at the post-match press conference Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul Haq lost his characteristic cool while asking the reporter who put forth a question on the subject to "shut up".

Dravid later asked the reporter to leave the room.

The mainline English press reported India's victory without any insinuation but some Urdu newspapers ran big headlines to say betting during the match had broken all previous records.

Former Pakistani captain Rashid Latif, who has made exposing betting and match-fixing a mission, chipped in with a comment on a television channel that the match had been fixed.

Raja said such allegations are diluting the sanctity of the series, which has progressed so well till now.

"Some people have questioned the purity of the matches. Such allegations are diluting the sanctity of the series. It is also putting the teams and the captain under unnecessary pressure," Raja said.

He said credence should not be given to such rumours and the series, which has been played in true spirit of sportsmanship, should be enjoyed.

Asked why officials of the ICC's Anti Corruption Unit were not invited to the press conference to clarify the position, Shaharyar said, "There was no need for doing such a thing."

"We don't feel it is necessary for them (ACU officials) to clarify anything. They are professionals and they know their job. The two top PCB officials again alerted the general public not to buy tickets from unauthorized counters or outlets since a large number of fake tickets were floating in the city.

"Like the previous match, we will ensure that only spectators with valid tickets would be allowed into the ground," he said.

They also said all arrangements inside the stadium to facilitate the entry of cricket fans have been made for Wednesday's series-decider.

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