National Assembly casts doubt on Pakistan’s performance

Updated: May 07, 2010, 21:44 PM IST

Karachi: National Assembly standing committee on sports chief Iqbal Muhammad Khan on Friday voiced suspicion that something fishy happened in the Pakistan and England match in the Twenty20 World Cup in the West Indies.

The parliamentarian said that there was something fishy (daal may kuch kala hai) in the way Pakistani fielders dropped catches, missed run-outs and gifted their wickets to England.

“The committee has had a close watch on the match and definitely after the tournament we are going to have a word with the Pakistan Cricket Board and team management,” he said.

Iqbal said that it was unacceptable for a team of Pakistan’s calibre being the defending T20 World Champions to drop so many catches in all the three matches they have played so far.

The Senate standing committee on sports Chairman, Ghaffar Qureshi has already said he is trying to contact the anti-corruption and security unit of the ICC directly to find out if any Pakistani players have been suspected of being involved in match-fixing.

Iqbal said that Pakistan’s performance was a big letdown for its supporters and fans.

“Their performance shows that there are problems in our cricket for sometime now. When you have a cricket board run by an elderly gentleman who should be retired or a very aged manager who has failed to control things in the past then this is what happens,” he added.

The National Assembly member said that the parliamentary committee would also ask the PCB Chairman Ejaz Butt what was the purpose of his going to the West Indies on board expenses and planning to stay there for entire duration of the tournament.

“It is clear that radical steps are required to clean up Pakistan cricket. The Players who were banned or fined should not have been picked for the World Cup and should not even have been given right of appealing against their penalties,” he claimed.

For the last few years there has been a constant running battle going on between the PCB and the parliamentary and senate committees on sports and last year when Pakistan were beaten in the Champions Trophy semi final, former Chairman of the NA committee had expressed suspicion that the team deliberately under-performed in the tournament.