PCB may dump ‘tainted’ Kamran, Kaneria from 2011World Cup squad

Monday, November 8, 2010

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chiefs may reportedly drop two senior players, Kamran Akmal and Danish Kaneria, from the team when they announce their 30-man preliminary squad for World Cup 2011 later this month.

According to The News, sources have revealed that both the players are under the PCB’s radar for possible links with match-fixers and are unlikely to be included in the team till the time they are cleared of any misdeeds.

Kamran, who till last summer was a key Pakistan player as well as the team’s vice-captain, is currently out of the squad after undergoing a minor surgery last month. Although he recovered from the appendicitis operation, the national selectors have reportedly decided not to include him in the team.

Kaneria was supposed to join the Pakistan team on Sunday in Dubai ahead of the first Test, which gets underway there later this month but the PCB decided not to ‘clear’ him for the two-match series, the paper said.

Although senior Board officials have not been given any specific reason for dumping him, but reliable sources said that the seasoned leg-spinner has been sidelined as part of a PCB campaign to ‘clean up’ Pakistan cricket.

“The Board won’t make it public but it has started a crackdown in a bid to clean up Pakistan cricket because it is under a lot of pressure from the ICC and has to act strongly to avoid a possible international suspension,” a knowledgeable source said.

Last month, PCB was given 30 days by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to put its house in order or face sanctions including possible suspension of Pakistan from international cricket.

ICC’s stern ultimatum came weeks after three of Pakistan’s leading cricketers were accused of accepting bribes from match-fixers during the fourth Test against England at Lord’s last August. Test captain Salman Butt and fast bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir were provisionally suspended by the ICC after a British tabloid alleged that the pacers bowled no-balls on order during the Lord’s Test.

Meanwhile, Kamran’s fellow teammates believe that his possible ouster from the World Cup squad will be a huge setback for the 1992 champions.

“It would be a great loss for the team if Kamran is thrown out of Pakistan’s World Cup plans. He is an important player and cannot be replaced properly at such short notice,” a player said. (ANI)

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