Iqbal wants mediation committee to resolve the PCB-ECB feud

Karachi: Former Pakistan Test captain, Asif Iqbal, has called for the formation of a three-member mediation committee to resolve and remove the differences between PCB, ECB and the ICC over the spot-fixing allegations controversy.

The former captain also blamed the Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ijaz Butt and the ICC for making unwarranted and unnecessary statements on the spot-fixing issue that have only added to the crisis.

"What they need to do is to form a committee that compromises of respected people from the International Cricket Council, PCB and England and Wales Cricket Board. Representatives from the three organizations need to sit together and come up with a sensible solution," Iqbal was quoted as saying by a website.

"One organization should not be made the scapegoat and people shouldn`t point fingers at them. There is no doubt that significant damage has already been done. I think the image of Pakistan cricket has come out very badly from this scenario.”

"The PCB needs to decide the direction in which they are headed. They need to take the proper actions and punish any player they find guilty. It`s important that they stick to their decisions," he added.

Iqbal, who has worked with the CBFS in Sharjah and also with the ICC said that the PCB Chairman and ICC should have been careful with their statements.

He noted that while what Butt said about the English players and ECB was most unfortunate and the ICC should also have not gone public with its intentions to investigate the third ODI at the Oval between the two countries.

"I think Butt`s statement was just a reaction to the allegations and accusations made against the Pakistani players.”

"And on top of that, I think there was pressure on Butt to do something or say something because most Pakistanis have taken this as a conspiracy against Pakistani cricketers," he said.

"But Butt should not have gone public with his allegations to start with. He should have gone through the ICC if he had any information because the PCB is as much a member of the ICC as the ECB."

"But I`d like to say that the PCB should have reacted in a mature manner. The ECB gave Pakistan the opportunity to host matches against Australia and were willing to give Pakistan a chance to play their matches in England in the future because teams are unwilling to travel to Pakistan," Iqbal said.

"So, I think the PCB owed something to the ECB and I don`t think Ijaz Butt should have issued such statements."

Iqbal also felt that Butt has to come up and make a statement and offer an apology to the ECB.

"At the moment the relations between the two cricket boards are at their lowest point. By making these statements the PCB chairman has laid some thorns for the PCB when it comes to relations with the ECB and ICC.”

He also feels that ICC should not have taken the route of issuing such a statement based on newspaper reports after the third ODI.

"It`s the duty of the ICC to investigate such allegations but they shouldn`t go public with the allegations before conducting an investigation. By making these public statements the ICC damaged the credibility of the remaining ODIs based on newspaper reports," he concluded.