PCB consults lawyers over defamation case against tabloid

Karachi: The Pakistan Cricket Board has consulted lawyers in London to file a possible defamation case against British tabloid ‘The Sun’ for defaming the Pakistani players.

PCB’s legal advisor Tafazzul Rizvi confirmed that he had held talks with some English law firms over the possible defamation suit.

“We have been considering doing this for a while now because we think the way the newspaper tried to slander our players they have a case to answer,” he said.

The International Cricket Council, acting on apparent evidence and leads provided by the newspaper, investigated the third one-dayer between Pakistan and England played at the Oval, England in September.

Pakistan won the match but ‘The Sun’ had reported that it had information about inconsistent scoring patterns in the Pakistan innings and that something fishy had gone in the match.

The ICC earlier this month had said that it had found no evidence of corruption in the ODI.

Rizvi said Pakistan cricket’s image had been damaged by the newspaper story and the players had also been slandered and hurt.

“The PCB is seriously now looking at going for legal action against newspapers and individuals, who make slanderous statements against our players without any concrete evidence.

“We are looking at filing defamation suits to stop this trend of defaming Pakistan cricket on basis of hearsay and allegations,” he said.

Rizvi said the PCB had considered legal action from day one. “With ICC now having cleared the match of any wrongdoing, we have a strong case to claim damages,” he added.

Spot fixing allegations dogged the Pakistan team on their troubled tour to England with three players -- Salman Butt, Muhammad Asif and Muhammad Aamir -- being suspended by the ICC after the allegations came out following the fourth Test against England at the Lord’s.

Butt and Aamir have appealed against their suspensions by the ICC and their hearings are up in Dubai later this week.

Rizvi also made it clear that the PCB was not extending any support in any way to the three players in their fight to clear their names.

“They are doing everything themselves,” he said.

The Pakistan team selected for the series against South Africa in the United Arab Emirates, starting this week had to sign a strict code of conduct before leaving for the tour.


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