PCB under pressure from betting mafia: Reports

Zeecric Bureau

New Delhi: World cricket is in shock after the sensational revelations of match fixing. However, what has been revealed so far may just be the tip of the iceberg.

Although there have been talks of the Pakistan Cricket Board officials considering stringent action against its players who are found guilty of spot fixing, sources have revealed that the board itself is under pressure from the betting mafia that operates from Karachi.

Talking to a leading Indian newspaper, a source in the Pakistan Cricket Board said there is filth all around and that nothing will come out even after investigations.

"The PCB is under huge pressure and that stems from its own backyard. There is so much filth. Let me assure you, even if they (PCB) call for an investigation, nothing will come out. From start to finish, don`t expect anything to be transparent. Things are way beyond their control," the source said.

"Once you`ve done something illegal, then you are automatically under pressure to do it repeatedly. That is the state of Pakistan cricket. Instant money and the opportunities to womanize is what lures young cricketers," the source added.

The match-fixing scandal that has rocked Pakistan cricket got murkier with reports of more games being rigged as a rattled ICC promised “appropriate” action against players found guilty after investigations.

The sting operation carried out by a British tabloid, which implicated seven Pakistani players including captain Salman Butt, has opened a Pandora’s box with fresh reports suggesting that the opening Test between England and Pakistan and the January Sydney Test between Pakistan and Australia could have been fixed.

The ICC top brass had a teleconference to discuss the issue after which it was made clear that Pakistan’s T20 and ODI series against England will continue as scheduled.

“It is the desire of the ICC, England and Pakistan that the game is continued,” ICC President Sharad Pawar said after talking over phone with top ICC officials, PCB Chairman Ejaz Butt and ECB chairman Giles Clarke.

Pakistan and England square off in two Twenty20 Internationals (September 5 and 7) before playing five ODIs from September 10-22.

But as the Pakistan team quietly boarded the bus for going to Taunton, angry fans shouted “chor, chor” and other abuses.

Pawar said besides the London police, Anti-Corruption Unit of the ICC is also preparing a report. The world body will take action after studying both the investigations and a report from the PCB.

“I had a detailed discussion with Giles Clarke, Ejaz Butt, ICC vice-president Alan Issac, CEO Haroon Lorgat, anti-corruption wing in-charge Ravi Sawani and a few officials of ICC. We discussed in depth the Pakistani players’ issue. One thing is that the British Police have not completed their investigation. Neither any player has been interrogated,” he said.

“Until and unless the British authorities complete investigation, which we hope will be done in two-three days, and establish there is prima facie case it is difficult for the PCB to take appropriate action,” he said.

“ICC is waiting for the British police to complete investigation. ACSU is also looking into the details. It is also preparing a report in 2-3 days. The report by British Police and ACSU will give us a proper picture. This information we hope will lead us to take appropriate action if required,” he added.

The furore follows allegations that a bookie, Mazhar Majeed, arrested and later released on bail, bribed Pakistani pacers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamir for ‘spot-fixing’ to bowl no balls during the Lord’s Test against England, which the visitors lost by an innings and 225 runs.

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