Meeting between Pak sports min and banned trio postponed

Updated: Feb 08, 2011, 21:55 PM IST

Karachi: A meeting called by the ministry of sports with the three banned Pakistani cricketers and PCB officials today could not take place due to the absence of the sports minister Ijaz Hussain Jakhrani.

"The meeting didn`t take place today in Islamabad as scheduled since the minister had to rush to Karachi to handle a brewing dispute between the management and pilots in the national airlines," a source in the ministry disclosed.

He said the two senior officials of the Pakistan board, chief operating officer, Subhan Ahmed and director cricket operations, Zakir Khan had reached Islamabad for the meeting but were told it had been postponed.

"No new date has been set for the meeting until now but the minister is very keen to meet the players and the board officials and get a full update on the spot-fixing crisis which led to the bans on the players, Salman Butt, Muhammad Asif and Muhammad Aamer," the source stated.

He said that interior minister Rehman Malik was to also attend the meeting to discuss with the players and board officials the criminal charges brought against the trio by the Crown Prosecution Office in London and their appearance in a Westminster court on March 17.

The source confirmed that the government was keen to find a way to help out Aamer as it wanted his five year ban to be either reduced or waived off by the ICC.

"There is sympathy for Aamer in the corridors of power and the sports minister and Rehman Malik have been told to see what can be done to save the career of the teenaged Aamer," the source said.

The trio have to file an appeal against the bans in the International Court of Arbitration for sports in Geneva within 21 days from the date the bans were announced on them by the ICC anti-corruption tribunal.

The source said the players didn`t show up for the meeting as they were informed earlier about the postponement.

"But they have been told to remain available to attend the meeting in Islamabad at a short notice."