Sydney: A top official of the International Cricket Council’s anti-corruption bureau has said that he believes that Pakistani players may have deliberately ‘underperformed’ during the Sydney Test of their winless tour Down Under in January-February.
Lord Condon, chief of the ICC’s anti-corruption and security unit (ACSU), said that Pakistan’s stunning 36-run loss to Australia in the Sydney Test was subject of a “live investigation” by the anti-corruption authority.
“It is a match and series that worried us, we spent a lot of time talking to the players and PCB. The challenge is finding where is the solid fact,” The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Condon, as saying.
“What you have there is a lot of strife within the team and Pakistan politics with rivals camps making allegations,” he added.
However, PCB chief Ejaz Butt has denied any foul play during the match in question.
“The Australian tour chapter is now closed and we have finished our inquiry. We have found no evidence of any match-fixing during the tour,” Butt said.
Referring to wicket keeper Kamran Akmal’s shoddy show during the Sydney Test, in which he dropped three easy catches and missed a straightforward run out chance, Condon said his performance is particularly being investigated.
“What we are trying to establish is whether that was because rival camps wanted to do down captains or potential captains. Or whether they were doing something more serious, for a financial fix,” The Daily Times quoted Condon, as saying.
Condon, however, pointed that it was difficult to completely eradicate the menace of match fixing.
“My prediction is you will never totally eradicate it from cricket. There will always be that temptation. But we had a cadre of modern players who know the risks and are playing for the right reasons,” he said.