Rehman Malik is a problem not Pakistan cricketers: Imran

Last Updated: Mar 28, 2011, 17:15 PM IST

Kolkata: Former Pakistan captain Imran Khan lashed out at Interior Minister Rehman Malik for his warning to Pakistan cricket team against indulging in match-fixing during their crucial World Cup semi-final against India in Mohali.

The cricketer-turned-politican hit out at the minister`s statement and said he should better keep a watch on himself as he was absconding few days back.

Imran, who heads Tehreek-e-Insaaf party, also made fun saying that the minister did not know English and his comments might have been misconstrued.

"I would rather watch Rehman Malik than the cricket team. I am serious. He was absconding. My worry is not the cricket team but it`s him," Imran made a terse statement when asked about Malik`s comments.

"I know the minister; he does not have a strong command over the English language. So perhaps, he must have said something and something else could have been interpreted. There are much better things to do. I don`t think Pakistan team will be bothered about it."

The skipper of the victorious 1992 team said he was confident that the national team would put pride before all else to try and beat India in Wednesday`s clash at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali.

Earlier, Malik told mediapersons, "I gave a warning that there should be no match-fixing. I am keeping a close watch. If any such thing happens, we are going to take action."

Malik was speaking in Karachi ahead of the World Cup semi-final clash between India and Pakistan in Mohali on Wedndesday that will showcase one of the world`s most intense sporting rivalries.

Malik said that though he was "sure the team has very clean members", intelligence is gathering information on the Pakistani cricketers, including "who are meeting them and the phone calls that they are receiving."

"This is necessary because we can`t take a chance after what happened in London," he said, in a reference to a recent match-fixing controversy in Britain involving three Pakistani players.

Malik further added,"Do your practice, sleep early at night and wake at the proper time. They should dedicate themselves to Pakistan for the match."

"There is a lot of love for the cricketers and we hope they will win the game for us. We expect they will not disappoint the people," he said.