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'Fixing' claims almost made Pak players boycott series

March 31, 2004 18:22 IST

Three senior members of the Pakistan cricket team, including skipper Inzamam-ul Haq, had threatened to boycott the Test series against India in protest against allegations that the fourth one-dayer at Lahore could have been fixed, according to a newspaper report in Multan on Wednesday.

Inzamam, along with his deputy, Yousuf Youhana, and fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar took strong exception to the allegations of match-fixing made by former captain Rashid Latif, The News reported.

Doubts were raised after India won the fourth match to level the five-match one-day series 2-2. India then won the fifth and final match to clinch the series 3-2.

President General Pervez Musharraf soon declared a ban on the telecast of Latif's views and the Pakistan Cricket Board threatened legal action against Latif.

"When the story appeared after the match, three of the players were very upset and informed manager Haroon Rashid that they would not play in the Test series unless the PCB took some action against the people making the allegations without any evidence," the newspaper quoted a PCB official as saying.

"The players were already fed up with persistent allegations by former Pakistan fast bowler Sarfraz Nawaz before the series started and lost their cool after the Latif episode," the report quoted the official as saying.

The three players later spoke to PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan, who had a long discussion with them.

"Shaharyar made them see sense and how their reputations would suffer if they refused to play in the Tests against India and assured them that he would sort out the matter soon," the report added.

Shaharyar also assured that a permanent protocol would be put in place in the Board's legal system where anyone making match-fixing allegations would be sued if he went to the press directly without any substantial or circumstantial evidence, the official added.

"Shaharyar told them he would be speaking to Rashid on the subject and if the former captain didn't retract his statement, disciplinary action would be taken against him," he said.

According to the newspaper, the PCB chief also described Rashid's statement as "shameful" and "unpatriotic".

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