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Pakistan series loss to Australia under investigation

Last updated on: May 21, 2010 11:12 IST

'It's a series that worried us'



The International Cricket Council's (ICC) anti-corruption unit is examining Pakistan's dismal tour of Australia this year when they were whitewashed in the Test and One-day series.

Pakistan slumped to defeat in the second Test in Sydney after they appeared to have victory within their grasp.

"It is a match and a series that worried us," outgoing Anti-Corruption and Security Unit chairman Paul Condon told a news conference at Lord's on Thursday.

"We spent a lot of time talking to the players, talking to the PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board). Certainly we are satisfied that that was a totally dysfunctional tour from the Pakistan point of view and that dysfunctionality in the dressing room led to players not performing well, to maybe players potentially even under-performing deliberately.

"What we are still trying to establish is whether that was because rival camps wanted to do down captains, or potential captains, or whether they were doing something more serious and were doing it for a financial fix," he added.

Image: Paul Condon
Photographs: Reuters

'Difficult to prove match-fixing has taken place'

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Condon's remarks were prompted by leaked video recordings of a PCB investigation into the Australian tour, in which the deep differences between the players were exposed. The recordings, have been aired by the Geo Super channel since Monday.

Mohammad Yousuf and Younis Khan were banned indefinitely, Shoaib Malik and Naved-ul-Hasan were suspended for a year, while Shahid Afridi and the Akmal brothers -- Umar and Kamran, were fined and placed on probation for six months.

PCB legal advisor Tafazzul Rizvi said that the committee had recommended action against the players under its terms of reference.

"It is very difficult to prove match-fixing has taken or is taking place. But the ICC has its Anti-Corruption and Security Unit and they are keeping a watch on these things," he said.

"We don't have any concrete evidence against any player, if the ICC feels there is something wrong they will contact the board," he added.

Image: Kamran Akmal

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'We want to find out the truth'

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The chairman of the Senate standing committee on sports said that he had summoned the former coaches, players and PCB officials to discuss the video recordings.

"We have severe concerns about what has been said at these proceedings with reference to match-fixing and we want to find out the truth or what action the board has taken," Senator Ghaffar Qureshi said.

Condon was also asked about the cases of Essex county players Danish Kaneria, the Pakistan test leg-spinner, and fast bowler Mervyn Westfield who have been questioned by police about a limited-overs match last year. They have been released on bail until Sept. 15.

"From the start of that inquiry the ICC has supported the Essex police inquiry and we are working with them going forward so we are supporting the work that they are doing," he said.

Image: Danish Kaneria

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IPL gets a clean chit

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Condon said he had no evidence to suggest there had been any corruption in the third edition of the Indian Premier League.

"IPL three from a clean cricket point of view seems to have been a very clean event," Condon said.

"There were rumours and vague allegations about match-fixing in IPL three.

"No one has come forward from within the Indian board or the IPL or franchises or journalists, players or team managers, anyone with any specific allegations about match-fixing in the IPL. All there has been is a generic rumour," he added.

The Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) did not monitor the first two IPL Twenty20 competitions.

Condon, in charge of the unit since it was set up 10 years ago to deal with a match-fixing scandal which resulted in life bans for three international captains, will be succeeded by former senior British police official Ronnie Flanagan on July 1.

Image: Chennai Super Kings lift the IPL trophy
Photographs: Getty Images
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