Christchurch: Pakistani cricket chiefs have launched an investigation into reports that chief selector Moin Khan visited a casino shortly before the team`s calamitous World Cup defeat to the West Indies.
Fans, already in despair at Pakistan`s dismal start to the tournament, have reacted furiously over claims Khan was seen in a casino in the New Zealand city of Christchurch ahead of Saturday`s crushing 150-run defeat to the Windies.
"We have launched an investigation over the reports that Moin Khan visited a casino, action will be taken if the reports prove true," Shehryar Khan, the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), told reporters.
"As per initial reports, Moin Khan went there to have a meal two days before the match against West Indies and a Pakistani couple photographed him and made a video," Khan said.
"But we will not make anybody a scapegoat and will investigate this incident before taking any action."
Pakistan team manager Naveed Cheema confirmed that an inquiry has been launched.
"Yes, the PCB chairman has asked me to investigate the affair," Cheema told AFP in Australia without going into details or what action will be taken against Moin.
It`s likely that Moin, whose presence at the World Cup was criticised by a number of former players, will be sent home if the charges against him are proved.
Pakistan crumbled to 160 all out chasing the West Indies` 310-6 in Christchurch on Saturday, losing their first four batsmen for just one run, to add to the anguish of their opening defeat to arch-rivals India.
Fans in the central Pakistani city of Multan held a mock funeral for the national team after the defeat, which left them rooted to the bottom of Pool B.
The ever-mercurial Pakistanis will hope to kickstart their tournament when they take on Zimbabwe in Brisbane on March 1.
Moin was a member of Pakistan`s only World Cup winning team when the tournament was last played in Australia and New Zealand 23 years ago. He also skippered Pakistan between 1998-2001.