PCB to have internal inquiry of spot-fixing scandal

PCB chief Zaka Ashraf said the board would wait to get the full judgement of the Southwark Crown Court in London on the spot-fixing trial before starting its own inquiry Getty Images

Lahore: Nov 5, 2011

A jolted Pakistan Cricket Board plans to hold an internal inquiry into the circumstances that led to the involvement of its three jailed players in the spot-fixing scandal.

The new Chairman of the board, Zaka Ashraf made it clear that it was surprising that the players got involved in the scandal despite the the PCB sending anti-corruption officers to England with the team.

“We had our anti-corruption officers there and yet how our players got involved in this scandal needs to be questioned,” he said.

Ashraf, who replaced Ijaz Butt as PCB Chairman last month, said the board would wait to get the full judgement of the Southwark Crown Court in London on the spot-fixing trial before starting its own inquiry.

“It would be premature to say if we take action against our own officials first let us have the inquiry and find out the facts and circumstances that led to this scandal that has badly tarnished our image,” he added.

Many former Test players have blamed the management that went to England last year particularly manager, Yawar Saeed and security manager, Khawaja Najam for allowing the players to mix with Mazhar Majeed despite grave suspicion about his activities.

Former captains, Moin Khan and Rashid Latif have said the board and government needs to have its own inquiry to find out whose negligence led to the damage done to Pakistan cricket’s image.

“What were these people doing in England at that time. The warning signs were there and yet they didn’t stop the players from mixing with Mazhar or stopped him from coming into the team hotel,” Moin said.

During the course of the spot-fixing trial in the crown court in London it has emerged that Mazhar was touring all those places where the Pakistan team played since last year including Australia and West Indies.

Sources said the PCB is looking into allegations that Majeed might have even had contact with some players when the Pakistan team went to West Indies this year for the Test series months after the spot-fixing scandal broke out.

“What is confirmed is that Mazhar himself was not in England at the time when Pakistan played in the West Indies in April-May and showed up in England after the tour,” the source said.

Ijaz Butt has also claimed that even after the spot-fixing scandal broke out last year it was found that the jailed trio of Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir were still exchanging calls and text messages with Mazhar Majeed.

The tainted three and Majeed got jail sentences from the on Thursday for corruption and spot-fixing portions of the fourth Test at Lord’s last year against England.

Ashraf also disclosed that the PCB would fully cooperate and lend support to any investigation by the anti-corruption unit of the ICC.

“I will be sending a letter to the ICC soon outlining our complete support for the fight against corruption and any investigation by the ACU,” he said. (PTI)