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    ICC must keep close watch on IPL 5: Abbas

    Karachi: Former Pakistan captain Zaheer Abbas feels the ICC should keep a close watch on the fifth Indian Premier League in the wake of the recent reports about spot-fixing in international cricket.

    "The ICC may have dismissed the recent reports quoting an Indian bookmaker but it would be prudent that a close watch is kept on the IPL," Zaheer said in an interview.

    He said although the IPL is treated as a domestic event of the Indian board but given the spate of reports about spot-fixing, the ICC needed to play a more proactive role and keep a watch on the event.

    "The IPL is tailor made for bookmakers who want to bet on cricket," he pointed out.

    Zaheer, also known as the Asian Bradman for his batting feats, said spot-fixing was a menace in international cricket that could never be completely wiped out.

    "It can't be eradicated completely. Because till cricket is played people will gamble and bet on matches. But yes definitely authorities can take control steps to ensure the sport is kept as clean as possible," he said.

    He expressed apprehensions that given the recent incidents of spot-fixing people might lose total interest in the credibility of the game.

    "It is the credibility of cricket that is at stake. I don't want to see that day when people don't believe in results. Already people express doubts over matches during interactions," he said.

    Zaheer said it was unfortunate that Pakistani players had been found involved in spot-fixing but it would be foolhardy to believe other countries are clean.

    "The level of involvement is there but unfortunately only our players have been caught as the culprits while players from other countries don't feature in this list. Partially I think this is to do with the level of influence and power a board has."

    Asked whether he felt that when it came to cricketing issues including spot-fixing, the Indian board was dictating to the ICC, Zaheer said there was no doubt that the Indians held the whiplash in the cricket world.

    "This is not surprising to me because of the amount of money available in the Indian market for cricket. Where the money is, that country will always be strong and dictate to others and that is what is happening with India," he said.