PCB, management to decide whether to send accused players home
Karachi/London: Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ijaz Butt and the team management in England will take a call on Monday on whether to send home the players accused of spot-fixing during the Lord`s Test and to fly in replacements for them.
Well-placed sources in the Pakistan team told PTI that the captain for the forthcoming one-day series in England, Shahid Afridi would be meeting PCB Chairman Butt and manager Yawar Saeed tomorrow to discuss the situation arising out of the allegations.
The names of seven players, including Test captain Salman Butt, have come up in the allegations brought up by the English tabloid News of the World, whose sting operation led to the arrest of an alleged fixer.
"Obviously there is plenty of tension in the team and an air of uncertainty. There is a feeling of being betrayed among the players who are not among those accused of wrong doing in the series," one source disclosed.
He said at tomorrow`s meeting it would be decided if the players who are under investigation by the London Metropolitan Police and Scotland Yard for accepting bribes from a Pakistani man arrested in London should be allowed to play in the one-day series or sent back home.
"Atleast six of the players who are under investigation are also part of the one-day squad so a firm decision needs to be made tomorrow," the source said.
He said obviously Afridi would make his position clear on the whole situation to Butt and the team manager.
"The investigations are going on and there is a growing concern even in the board what effect they will have on the other players preparations for the one-day series. Don`t be surprised if a decision is taken to fly in replacement players," the source added.
He said that already the situation was pretty tense in the team as the police had confiscated the mobile phones and passports of the players who are accused of spot-fixing in the Lord’s Test.
"Ijaz Butt is also under pressure because of this sudden controversy. He is also due to meet with ICC officials to discuss the one-day series".
Other sources said that the home board and ICC had concerns if the presence of players under investigation in the one-day series would dilute the interest of the people in the T20 and one-day series.
Particularly so, when according to revelations made by the arrested middleman, Mazhar Majeed, show that it was decided that Pakistan would lose two one-day matches in the five-match series.