PCB chief Ashraf refuses to comment on IPL spot-fixing

Updated: May 19, 2013, 6:53 PM IST
PCB chief Ashraf refuses to comment on IPL spot-fixing

Karachi: Pakistan Cricket Board chief Zaka Ashraf has refused to comment on the spot-fixing scandal that has hit the Indian Premier League, referring to it as an internal matter of the BCCI.

The PCB chief said that his board had taken a number of steps to prevent its players from getting involved in corrupt practises.

"I can assure you that even when our team plays in the Champions Trophy next month in England there will be no repeat of the 2010 spot-fixing scandal," he said on Sunday.

"I don't want to comment on an issue that is an internal matter of the BCCI. They know best how to handle it. But overall the PCB has put in place some very strong measures to curb this menace," he said.

"We also want to play a key role in cooperating with authorities to curb this menace in international cricket," he added.

After the spot-fixing scandal broke out in the IPL, the Indian media and police have mentioned a nexus of bookmakers from Mumbai to Dubai to Karachi.

Ashraf also said that Pakistan would be willing to be part of any move against corruption in cricket.

He said so far the BCCI or the Indian police had not asked for any help or support but if anyone wanted Pakistan's support and cooperation to curb this menace, the PCB would be willing do so. The PCB chief said as far as the Pakistan team was concerned, all steps had been taken to ensure there were no more scandals in the future.

"We don't want a repeat of the 2010 situation so we have put in place some extraordinary measures like including some strong anti-corruption clauses in the players contracts, sending a vigilance officer to England in order to monitor them and also advice them on avoiding suspicious people and we are educating the players about the fallout of indulging in any corrupt practice," he said.

When Pakistan toured England in 2010, then captain Salman Butt and pacers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamir were caught in London following a sting by a British tabloid which exposed the spot-fixing scandal during the fourth Test at Lords.

Ashraf also stated that his election to the top post under the new constitution could be challenged in the coming days with a new government due to take over soon.

Although Ashraf has insisted that with his election as PCB chairman was in line with the constitution, he has faced questions and criticism over the manner in which the whole process was held in Islamabad.

Ashraf said that the entire process was valid and also vowed to face whatever legal challenges that comes against him.

The Sindh High Court has ordered the PCB to respond to a petition by former captain Rashid Latif who had challenged the process of Ashraf's election and the new constitution.

"Court cases are there but I am confident because the process of my appointment was in line with the PCB constitution," Ashraf said.

"The process was carried out in a transparent manner and through election as prescribed by the PCB constitution," he added.

Indications are that Ashraf might soon face a strong challenge to his position as the Pakistan Muslim League head Nawaz Sharif and his nephew Hamza Sharif are big cricket followers and are unlikely to accept a nominee of current President Asif Zardari heading the Board.

"The indications are that the challenge to Ashraf will come through legal recourse and it is no big secret that governing body and governing board members have been known to change their loyalties and go with the people in the government," one insider said.

First Published: May 19, 2013, 6:53 PM IST

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