Dambulla: The allegation of match-fixing came to haunt Pakistan cricket again when pace bowler Mohammad Aamer was seen talking on his phone before he came into bat for his team in their opening match against Sri Lanka, which they lost by 16 runs.
Aamer, who came in to bat at number 9, made just 5 off 14 balls which cost them the match. Apart from his innings, the Akmal brothers, Umar and Kamran, also ran themselves out, leading to widespread romours of possible match-fixing.
However, the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Wednesday cleared Pakistani player Mohd Aamer off the allegations of breaking protocol and talking on the phone during the time a match was in play.
“There are no suggestions that he (Aamer) has violated any norms or protocols. He was holding his helmet grills”, the apex cricket body said in a statement after reports came in after Aamer was taped in what looked like an engrossing telephonic conversation.
The ICC furthered, “As normal practice, all cell phones are collected from players prior to the starting of the match.”
The developments came after Pakistan cricket team was embroiled in match fixing allegations after television footage of Tuesday’s opening match of Asia Cup between Pakistan and Sri Lanka showed batsman Mohammad Aamer seemingly talking on the phone in the dressing room just minutes before his stint at the crease.
However, following the incident, ICC anti-corruption cell has henceforth barred the use of cell phones completely in the playing areas including the dressing room.
ICC has issued strict guidelines against the usage of cell phones by players or support staff during the duration of a match. Only the team manager is allowed access to a mobile phone during the course of the match.
Refuting the video footage, Pakistan team manager denied that the player was even talking on the phone and said that all the players were just talking among themselves.
This is not the first time Pakistan cricket team’s name has been brought up in match fixing and their recent tour to Australia had also raised similar concerns after the visitors were defeated in all the eleven matches they played against the Australian outfit.