Pakistan: No repeat of spot-fixing

Dubai: Pakistan manager Naveed Akram Cheema says he`s "absolutely clear and confident" there will be no repeat of the spot-fixing scandal when they play England from next week.

The scandal, which ended with three Pakistan cricketers sent to a British prison last November, engulfed the teams` last test series in mid-2010.

"The PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board) has introduced a code of conduct and an anti-corruption code and all these guys (the players) have been told," Cheema said yesterday ahead of the team`s first training in Dubai.

"We are following those codes in letter and spirit so with those rules and regulations in place, I think the chances (of corruption) will be no more there. I`m absolutely clear and confident."

The 2010 series in the United Kingdom was completely overshadowed by allegations against Pakistan captain Salman Butt and teammates Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir.

The trio were convicted in a court in London in November of conspiracy to cheat and conspiracy to accept corrupt payments and jailed.

During the trial the names of two players in the current Pakistan squad, fast bowler Wahab Riaz and batsman Umar Akmal, were spoken of by the prosecution as being under the influence of Mazhar Majeed, the players` agent who arranged the fixes with the convicted trio.

However, Cheema defended their presence in the United Arab Emirates.

"Let me tell you that natural justice is that unless someone is proven guilty one must not be penalized for that," he said.

"There were no charges as such so that is what it is. As far as I am aware, nothing special has been pointed out by the ICC or elsewhere against these guys. Mere speculations do not work. As far as the PCB is concerned, there are no allegations received," Cheema added.

Captain Misbah-ul-Haq, who took charge of the team following the scandal, said they were focused solely on the three tests, four one-dayers and three Twenty20s rather than looking back to the dark chapter for Pakistan and world cricket.

"That is in the past and we don`t want to get into that, it is not our area of concern," Misbah said.

"Our area of concern is to play good cricket, fair cricket and that is what we can do. We are doing that for the last year and a half, our performances show that.”

"The way we have behaved on the ground and conducted ourselves, that is the true example we are setting and we are proving we are doing it in a good way."

Misbah said his squad had no injury concerns and confirmed spinner Saeed Ajmal, who took 18 wickets in the three-match series against Sri Lanka in the UAE in October and November, had developed a new, mystery delivery.

"He has been practicing it for the past two to three months and now he is bowling it very well so let us see how the England batsmen tackle that," he said.

When asked to describe Ajmal`s new delivery, Misbah added: "That`s the secret. You will see he can bowl a `teesra.`"

Bureau Report