Pakistan board distances itself from tainted trio

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

KARACHI/ISLAMABAD - The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Wednesday decided to distance itself from three tainted players - Salman Butt, Muhammad Asif and Muhammad Aamer - who are currently being probed by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for spot-fixing.

The PCB has decided to bar the tainted trio from using the training facilities in the National Cricket Academy (NCA), adjacent to the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore where the board’s headquarters are located. The board has alraedy dispatched letters to the three players, informing them of its decision.

The decision, sources said, was taken after PCB chairman Ijaz Butt took strong esception to Salman Butt’s interview to a local TV channel a few days ago from the NCA. Salman had said during the interview that “he was training to return to the squad soon and would be able to prove his innocence”.

The ICC is also believed to have taken notice of the interview and brought the matter to the attention of the PCB.

Aamer and Asif, on the other hand, have stayed away from any limelight or media interaction and have also not used the facilities at the NCA. The ICC has provisionally suspended the three players till a final decision is reached.

The players were withdrawn from the Pakistani squad in England after the News of the World tabloid folowing a sting reported that they took bribes to bowl no-balls in Lords Test match. All of them have already appealed against the ICC’s suspension and the hearing is set to take place in Qatar, Oct 30-31.

The ICC issued a warning to the PCB last week to put its own house in order and clear the game of corruption domestically as well. It has given the PCB 30 days to furnish a report regarding the steps taken in this regard.

The PCB has also been directed to introduce an education and counselling programme for players to deter them from indulging in unethical behaviour.

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