Waqar, Intikhab call for ‘fresh start’ for Pakistan following ICC ban on tainted trio

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

LAHORE - Pakistan cricket coach Waqar Younis and team manager Intikhab Alam have called for a fresh start for the national side after three key Pakistani players were handed lengthy bans on corruption charges by an independent Anti-Corruption Tribunal appointed by the International Cricket Council.

Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer were banned for ten, seven and five years respectively after they were proven guilty of spot-fixing during last year’s tour of England.

“It is important that it’s finished now and we can start afresh,” Geo TV quoted Waqar, as telling reporters at the Lahore airport after his return from New Zealand.

“We can now make a fresh start after a lot of controversies affected Pakistan cricket and I am happy that it’s over now,” he added.

Waqar, who was Pakistan’s coach during the England tour where the scandal erupted and had also given his testimony to the Tribunal in Qatar via tele-conference, said the bans did not affect the successful New Zealand tour.

“The players didn’t talk about it at any time, so there was no way it could affect the team’s performances on the tour,” said Waqar, who welcomed the 3-2 ODI series win against the Kiwis.

“I am sure this one-day series win will give us a good build-up for the World Cup,” he said, adding, “We have good momentum, having played South Africa recently and now this hard-fought win in New Zealand gives us good momentum for the World Cup.”

Team manager Intikhab Alam expressed his sadness at the bans imposed on the tainted trio, but added, “We must move on from here for the sake of our cricket.”

Pakistan’s limited-overs captain Shahid Afridi, who flew to Karachi from New Zealand, refused to answer any questions on the bans. (ANI)

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