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Evidence needed for allegations: ICC

Ken Ferris | March 26, 2004 11:21 IST

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has called on anyone making claims of corruption within the game to produce evidence or withdraw the allegations. ICC Chief Executive Malcolm Speed said media speculation surrounding the one-day series between India and Pakistan, which the Indians won 3-2 on Wednesday, needed to be supported by evidence if it was to be treated seriously.

Former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif, commenting on the fourth one-day international in Lahore on Sunday, said on the local Indus television channel: "Even a common man could observe that the players were acting on a script because the body language of the players was not as it should have been."

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Latif, who stepped down as Pakistan captain last year, did not substantiate the allegation.

Speed said in a statement on Wednesday: "We have all seen the opinions of various people that have been aired in the media and they all share a common theme -- they are all long on speculation but short on evidence.

"If these allegations are to be treated seriously the people making these claims need to substantiate their claims or withdraw them.

"To attack the integrity of the game and the players taking part in this series without proof is entirely inappropriate and does nothing to actually address the threat of corruption."

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has threatened Latif with legal action for suggesting the one-dayer might have been fixed.

"It's shameful for Rashid or anyone else to make such allegations without evidence in the midst of such an important series," PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan told reporters on Tuesday.

"We're looking into the matter and considering defamation and libel suits against him," he added.


India beat Pakistan by five wickets on Sunday to level the series at 2-2. Pakistan made 293 for nine in their 50 overs before India reached 294 for five with five overs to spare.

"So far we've found nothing wrong in the way the matches have been played," Shaharyar Khan said on Tuesday.

Speed stressed that the ICC's Anti Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) has the systems in place to deal with any malpractice in any international match.

"The ICC now has in place an experienced and well-resourced team to deal with these types of issues.

"Like every match on the international calendar, every game in this series has been closely examined and a thorough report will be prepared for the ICC as it is for every international series," added Speed.

"The ACSU team is in Pakistan and it is alert to the dangers posed by the amount of betting that is taking place on these matches.

"With the people and processes now in place for international cricket matches the ICC has built a strong defence against the dangers of corruption."

Latif said on Tuesday he stood by his statement.

"I stand by my comments," he told Reuters. "I didn't make any direct allegations about match-fixing and only expressed my suspicions."

Last August, Latif was pardoned by the PCB after apologising for writing a letter directly to the ICC on match-fixing.

He was left out of the Pakistan team for three years from 1998.

(Additional reporting by Abdul Waheed)

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