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Akram wants to clear his name

December 14, 2002 15:20 IST
Pakistan's Wasim Akram will appeal against official sanctions imposed following a match-fixing inquiry so he can clear his name before retiring.

In an interview on Friday the fast bowler said he had gone through hell over the match-fixing allegations which had badly affected his health. He insisted his decision to appeal against the sanctions imposed by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) were not fuelled by a desire to be captain at the 2003 World Cup.

"No, I am not hungry for the captaincy. I had decided to appeal against the sanctions some months back," he told Reuters from South Africa where he is with the Pakistan side.

"I hope when I file my appeal it is successful and I can then decide to retire peacefully with my name cleared. I just want to go from the game with my name totally clear."

The PCB confirmed Akram has informed them of his intention to appeal against a fine and other sanctions imposed after the inquiry by the Justice Malik Qayyum commission.

"To appeal against the recommendations is his basic and fundamental right, but we will not provide him any technical or moral support in his appeal," PCB spokesman Samiul Hasan said.

The one-man judicial commission of the Lahore High Court was constituted by the government at the request of the PCB in 1998 to look into allegations of match-fixing by members of the Pakistan team, including Salim Malik, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Saeed Anwar, Mushtaq Ahmed and Inzamam-ul Haq.

In its findings in early 2000 it recommended a life ban for Malik for his involvement in match-fixing but did not directly implicate the other players.

However, it recommended fines for Wasim, Waqar, Inzamam, Saeed and Mushtaq, saying they had not told the entire truth during the inquiry.

UNSATISFACTORY CONDUCT

The commission also advised the PCB to avoid giving Wasim the captaincy as it was not satisfied with his conduct.

Wasim, who successfully led his country in three different terms between 1993 and 2000,

has not been named captain since.

"It is a hurt which refuses to go away," he said. "These allegations have been hell for me and my family in the last few years, and during this period of stress and tension I also became diabetic."

Wasim has said he intends to retire after the 2003 World Cup. On Friday he became the first player to appear in 350 one-day internationals and is Pakistan's leading wicket-taker.

The PCB spokesman said that some months ago it had sought the opinion of Justice Qayyum on the implications of reinstating Akram as captain.

Akram insisted he had not decided to file an appeal now because the board wanted him to captain World Cup side as was suggested in media reports.

"I had taken a decision to appeal against the fine and sanction a long time ago, but my international commitments didn't allow me to follow the case," he said.

He said his decision not to play in the test series in South Africa was not influenced by a desire to file the appeal well before the World Cup.

"I have decided to concentrate on the one-dayers and on the World Cup to give my best as a senior player," he said.

Akram led his country in the last two World Cups in 1996 and 1999. After Pakistan lost to India in the 1996 quarter-finals in which he didn't feature due to injury, enraged fans claimed he had faked the injury and attacked his residence in Lahore.

After the 1999 final defeat to Australia, Akram and other players returned home to a match-fixing inquiry by a government accountability commission which immediately suspended him, Malik and batsman Ijaz Ahmed. He was cleared of the allegations a few months later and reinstated as captain.

Also read:
'I'm still there; those who accused me are not' - Wasim Akram
The Justice Qayyum Report
Waheed Khan
Source: source
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