PCB may seek ACU`s help in finalising Pak 30-man squad for WC

Karachi: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Saturday admitted that it may seek guidance from International Cricket Council Anti-Corruption Unit while finalising Pakistan`s preliminary 30-member squad for next year`s World Cup.

The ICC does not want the PCB to select some players in the World Cup squad because of suspicion over their alleged involvement in spot-fixing.

In fact, the spot-fixing saga has further intensified after the lawyer of the suspended Test captain, Salman Butt said that he would no longer be representing his client.

Lawyer Aftab Gul said he saw no purpose for representing Salman in the ICC tribunal hearing, scheduled for January to rule on charges of alleged breaches of the ICC anti-corruption code by Pakistani players.

"The ICC has already decided what to do and it does not want Salman Butt, Mohammad Aamir and Mohammad Asif in the World Cup squad. So, what is the use in attending this hearing?," asked Gul.

The lawyer also said he would be outlining the reasons for his refusing to represent his client any longer in a letter, which would also be released to the media.

Gul claimed that besides the suspended trio, the ICC also didn`t want the PCB to pick wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal and leg-spinner Danish Kaneria in the World Cup preliminary squad.

"There is no evidence shown as yet against my client and the other players and yet the ICC and Pakistan board have made up their minds to punish these players. It is grave injustice," he said.

Gul`s statement gathered credence when the PCB reacted sharply to a news on Geo News channel that it had sent names of 45 players to the ICC ACU for clearance for the World Cup selection.

But while dismissing the report, the PCB indirectly admitted it was seeking help from the ACU in finalising its players.

"The impression in a certain section of media that the PCB will submit a list of 45 players to the ICC for its sign-off, is incorrect," the statement said.

"The PCB having a zero-tolerance towards corruption, would review all players through its Integrity committee and may seek the guidance of ICC`s Anti-Corruption and Safety Unit (ACSU) on any player it wishes to select.

"The decision as to which players will be included in the 30-man provisional squad will remain with PCB," the statement added.

Butt and the two pacers have been suspended by the ICC since September 2 for their alleged role in spot-fixing during the England tour.

Butt and Aamir had appealed against their suspensions, but at a hearing, the ICC appellate tribunal held in October in Dubai, dismissed their appeals and now the ICC has formed a three-member tribunal of its code of conduct commission to meet in Doha between January 6-11 to rule on charges of alleged breaches of the ICC anti-corruption code by the trio.

Gul also admitted that the lawyers for Butt and Aamir had raised objections to the appointment of Michael Beloff to head the tribunal but the ICC or PCB didn`t take heed of it.

Beloff also headed the appeals tribunal last month.

The ICC tribunal comprises of Michael Beloff (England), Justice Albie Sachs (South Africa) and Sharad Rao (Kenya).


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