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Saleem Malik hits out at PCB for not reviewing his life ban

Saleem Malik said he was fed up with the double standards of PCB and the International Cricket Council (ICC) © AFP
Saleem Malik said he was fed up with the double standards of PCB and the International Cricket Council (ICC) © AFP

Karachi: Apr 23, 2014

Former Pakistan captain Saleem Malik has lashed out at the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for refusing to review his life ban and for not recognising a welfare association in which he is actively involved holding a benefit match at the Gaddafi stadium in Lahore.

Malik, who now sports a beard, said he was fed up with the double standards of PCB and the International Cricket Council (ICC).

“I was banned for life for alleged match fixing in 2000. I appealed against the ban in the sessions court, Lahore High Court and Supreme court and finally in 2008 the sessions court lifted the ban but the board refuses to accept the judgement and reopen my case,” Malik told PTI on Wednesday.

“In India, Mohammed Azharuddin and Ajay Jadeja were also banned for life but after winning their cases in court the Indian cricket board let them back into the cricketing fold. But in Pakistan, the PCB has just refused to accept the court’s,” he said.

“On one hand the PCB wants the ICC to reduce the ban on a banned player, Mohammad Aamer, and in my case it is not even willing to review my case again,” Malik fumed.

Malik, 51, who played 103 Tests and 283 One-day Internationals, is upset with the PCB due to a recent incident at the Gaddafi stadium.

The former middle-order batsman said he and some other former players, who regularly met at the Minto Park to play veterans cricket, had formed a welfare association to work for needy former players, umpires and organisers.

“We had scheduled a benefit match for former Test pacer, Ehteshamuddin last Sunday at the Gaddafi stadium after getting clearance from the board. We had invited all top former and present players for the match. Shaved Afridi specially flew down to Lahore at his own expense for the match while Misbah, Inzamam, Hafeez, Razzaq and others had also confirmed,” he recalled.

“But the evening before the match when we were giving final touches to the match I got a call from Intikhab Alam saying I couldn’t organise the match as I was serving a ban and the board didn’t recognise the welfare association. I pleaded with him to allow the match to go ahead and I would step aside but they just didn’t listen,” he said.

Malik vowed that he would not stop working for the welfare body and he would request PCB chairman Najam Sethi to review his case again.

“Is the other people under the Chairman who are giving him wrong advice and misleading him. Even after the 2008 court decision, I wanted to apply for the batting coach position at the national academy but at the last moment these people got the then Chairman, Ijaz Butt, to withdraw my appointment letter,” Malik added.

One of the finest players of spin, Malik said he was dying to do something for Pakistan cricket and pass on his batting skills to the present generation.

“I have suffered a lot because despite the court decision the stigma remains with me since the PCB has not lifted the ban. My children at one stage were refused admission to a prestigious school/college because of this stigma on me,” he said.

“I will also be writing to the ICC soon to find out what is their role when I have a court decision in my favour,” he stated.

The PCB is presently also holding an inquiry against a board official and some Pakistan players including Wahab Riaz, Fawad Alam, Nasir Jamshed, Shahzaib Hasan and Abdul Razzaq after they were involved in exhibition matches played in Houston, USA this month as it featured another banned Test player, Danish Kaneria.

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