Islamabad: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has defended its handling of last year’s spot-fixing scandal, which led to lengthy bans on three Pakistani players- Salman Butt, Mohammad Aamir and Mohammad Asif- imposed by the International Cricket Council’s Anti-Corruption Tribunal.
In February, Salman was banned for ten years with a five-year suspended ban, Asif for seven years with two-year suspended ban and Aamer for five years by the ICC’s Anti-Corruption Tribunal.
Asif had recently said on a TV programme that the PCB did not do enough to save him and the other banned players.
“I am not blaming the PCB for what happened, but certainly they and even the government could have done more to save us from such a long ban,” Asif had said on Geo TV.
“If the board wanted, they could have stepped in when the spot-fixing scandal broke out and handled things themselves. They should have sent us home immediately and then tried us themselves instead of allowing the ICC to take charge,” he had added.
The PCB rejected Asif’s allegations, saying that it did everything it could to defend the accused trio.
“One of the banned cricketer Mohammad Asif in a TV programme had stated that had the PCB suspended him and the other two cricketers after their rooms were searched by London Police, the ICC would not have suspended the cricketers,” the Daily Times quoted a PCB spokesman, as saying.
He said the factual position was that the PCB initially went out of the way to assist its cricketers by engaging a top ranking law firm of UK, in addition to ensuring that the board’s legal advisor accompanied the players even to the police station.
“During all this time, the said cricketers maintained their innocence and were adamant that they had been falsely implicated. Under the ICC anti-corruption code, once the cricketers were provisionally suspended, it was incumbent upon the PCB, as per ICC laws, to withdraw all material support, as the cricketers had a case to answer for their personal actions to the games governing body: ICC,” the spokesman said.
“Therefore the allegation by Asif of falsely accusing the PCB of dereliction of duty is incorrect and an afterthought,” he added.