Rashid Latif's claims of PCB's link with Indian bookie rubbished by board

Rashid Latif (above) alleged that Indian bookmaker Anu Bhatt, who was named in the Danish Kaneria spot-fixing saga, was a regular guest of the Pakistan Cricket Board in 2005 © AFP

Karachi: Aug 21, 2013

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has rubbished Rashid Latif‘s claim that an alleged Indian bookmaker Annu Bhatt was a guest of the Board in 2005-06, terming the former captain’s accusation as “baseless and stupid.”

“It is a baseless and stupid accusation. We cannot believe that a cricketer like Rashid Latif could have made it,” the PCB said in a strongly worded statement on Tuesday.

“If he did, he should have backed this up with proofs.

Under the circumstances, it is regrettable that such an irresponsible statement has been made causing immense damage to the reputation of the Board and the country,” it added.

A war of words has broken out between the PCB and Latif after the latter claimed that Bhatt was a guest of the Board in 2005-06.

Latif had made the claim while deciding to seek justice for tainted leg-spinner, Danish Kaneria and trying to make public the facts and details of his case.

Kaneria is presently serving a life ban from the England and Wales Cricket Board for having links with Bhatt in England in 2009-10 but Latif’s claim about Bhatt being a guest of the PCB when England and India toured Pakistan has come as a shock in the country’s cricket community.

Latif, however, was in no mood to backtrack from his statement and said he stood by each and every word he had said.

In a statement, Latif said that he owned his remarks about the Indian bookie and the PCB.

“The reaction from the PCB is not surprising for me, but the choice of words was a bit too much. If they (PCB) want to drag me to the court, then I am ready for it. I don’t want a media war but for the truth I could go to any extent,” said Latif.

“I know that Annu Bhatt used be PCB’s regular guest and I stand by each and every word of mine,” added the former wicketkeeper.