Weak PCB responsible for match-fixing row: Pak Sports Minister

Karachi: Pakistan`s sports minister Ijaz Jakhrani feels the weak management of the PCB is responsible for the match-fixing scandal that has hit the national cricket team in England.

"Well, the management could have been better. The board should have seen this coming and should not have compromised on disciplining players in the past," Jakhrani told reporters.

He said it was sad that the team was constantly being hit by controversies in England and serious allegations were being levelled against them.

In the latest controversy, the International Cricket Council has launched an investigation into allegations that there had been some spot fixing in the Pakistan innings during the third one-dayer against England.

The allegations come close on the heels of the Scotland Yard investigating three Pakistani players -- Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif -- for alleged spot-fixing in the fourth Test against England at Lord`s last month.

The three are presently in Pakistan but remain suspended by the ICC.

"The PCB is an independent body and is not dependent on the government or sports ministry for funds. But clearly they need to put their house in order and show better administration. I will be conveying my feelings to the President on this issue. There has to be marked improvement in the performance of the board," Jakhrani said.

President Asif Zardari is also the chief patron of the board and has directly appointed the current Chairman Ejaz Butt and has supported him strongly despite growing pressure on him to change the management.

Jakhrani didn`t rule out the possibility of changes in the cricket set-up.

"I can tell you at the moment the President is closely being updated on all happenings in England . He has the final authority to take decisions on the management."

The sports minister felt that the board should have been more pro-active in the beginning of the scandal when it broke out after the Lord`s Test.

"In the past leniency has been shown with players and that has affected team discipline."

The PCB, in March, banned and fined seven players for indiscipline on the tour to Australia early in the year but allowed five of the affected players back in the team for the England tour.

Jakhrani said the ICC`s anti-corruption unit would look into the allegations against Pakistan players.

"As far as we are concerned right now we can`t do anything on our own. We are waiting for the ICC and Scotland Yard findings to come out. We can`t have our parallel investigation when the team is still playing in England ," Jakhrani said.



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