Majid Khan confirms Ali Bacher claims
Bhratri Sangha beaten
Sub-jr cricket

Calcutta, June 12 
Majid Khan, former captain and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief executive, has confirmed telling South Africa’s Dr Ali Bacher that two of Pakistan’s matches in the 1999 World Cup — versus Bangladesh (Northampton, May 31) and India (Manchester, June 8) were “fixed.”

“Yes, I did tell Dr Bacher that. In fact, I conveyed it last year itself. I stand by what I told Dr Bacher... There were rumours during the tournament itself, besides the games themselves convinced me some hanky-panky was on,” Majid told The Telegraph, when contacted in Lahore tonight.

Majid, regarded as a most courageous and attractive batsman of the Seventies, added: “If called upon, I’ll depose before the King Commission (in South Africa)... Even before the ICC, if needed. After all having myself taken the lead to probe unethical dealings by players, when I was chief executive, I won’t duck should some investigation require help.”

Requiring 224, Pakistan were shot out by Bangladesh for only 161 — a stunning result certainly, while India defeated Pakistan by 47 runs in their Super-Six match. The Manchester game, significantly, was at the height of the Kargil war.

Justifying his stand, Majid pointed out: “What happened during the World Cup was, in effect, a continuation of what has been happening from the mid-Nineties. Actually, Justice Malik Muhammad Qayyum himself cast doubts over two World Cup matches featuring Pakistan — Bangladesh and the final (against Australia). Of course, Justice Qayyum was asked by the authorities to exclude the tournament from the perview of his investigation. Why, I don’t know...”

Majid added: “If you go back a short while, you may recall the PCB’s own committee into match-fixing (headed by Justice Ejaz Yousuf) had suggested in its interim report (September, 1998) that players under suspicion shouldn’t be picked. Yet, they continued to be chosen and all three played the World Cup. Throughout, the sole dissenting voice was mine.”

Though initially unwilling to disclose names, Majid eventually did confirm the three in question were Wasim Akram, Salim Malik and Ijaz Ahmed.

Majid lauded the South African Board for promptly booking Herschelle Gibbs even though the commission (sitting in Cape Town) is only at the evidence-collecting stage.

“The South Africans have already shown they mean business. Unless, the subcontinent takes an honest stand I fear an eyewash may be authored... Only by acting sincerely can the present-day administrators save the future.”

It does appear Majid hasn’t been too enthused by Justice Qayyum’s verdict and the actions taken by the PCB. Incidentally, the Jalandhar-born Majid was curious about the “progress” of the CBI inquiry on this side of the border.

Obviously, the latest developments hasn’t amused the PCB one bit. The initial reaction, though, has been guarded. Speaking from Islamabad, the PCB’s director of operations Yawar Saeed merely said: “We will respond after first speaking to Majid... Yes, it’s an unhappy turn of events.”

A formal reaction, from the PCB, should come tomorrow.    

Calcutta, June 12 
CRSCL Bhratri Sangha lost 0-2 to Kidderpur in a first division group A tie of the Calcutta Football League today. N. Chakraborty scored both goals for Kidderpur.

In another group A match, West Bengal Police defeated Howrah Union by a Subir Chatterjee goal. The Bata-Peerless encounter ended goalless.

In fourth division action, three players of Rainbow AC were given marching orders by referee Sukumar Ghosh at Kalighat ground. Rainbow lost 1-4 to YMCA (Chowringhee).

J. Kundu was the first Rainbow player to be evicted in the 17th minute of the second session following his second booking for an improper tackle. A. Das and S. Kundu were marched off later, for showing dissent and abusing the referee, respectively.

Debasish Dutta’s hattrick spurred North Entally UTS to a 3-0 win over Sarat Samity in another fourth division tie.

Dipendu to sign today

The UB Group today informed East Bengal that the club may sign Dipendu Biswas without paying any transfer fee to Mohun Bagan as an “extremely isolated case”. It may be recalled that Bagan were earlier forced to wash their hands off the striker.

According to East Bengal assistant secretary Dipak Das, Dipendu will sign for the club tomorrow and join practice the next day.

Top seed beaten

Top seed Subhajit Das lost to Jayanta Sarkar 18-21, 18-21 in the sub-junior boys’ category of the Kalyan Jayant memorial table tennis meet today. In women’s section, Mouma Das, Sushmita Roy, Poulami Ghatak and Kasturi Chakraborty reached the quarter finals. Among men, Arup Basak beat Anindyalal Chowdhury 21-19, 21-7 to enter the pre-quarters.

Mitra champion

Swapan Mitra emerged champion in the seventh state selection trials organised by West Bengal Chess Association. Altogether 53 players participated in the eight-round Swiss league event. The top 30 from the trials are eligible for the state meet.

Saptarshi Roy Chowdhury came second while Pranjal Das finished third.

Blood donation camp

Arun Lal’s Bournvita Cricket Academy will organise a blood donation camp at the Metropolitan Magistrate Court’s Tennis Club on Saturday from 9 am to 1 pm.    

Calcutta, June 12 
Shyamnagar Sabuj Sangha and Gupinath Union CCC won their matches in the Bidyut Gangulu memorial sub-junior cricket meet today.


Bournvita CA 93 in 19.1 (Binod Singh 35; Subhankar Mullick 3/12, Srimoy Ghoshal 3/21). Shyamnagar Sabuj Sangha CCC 94/7 in 15 (Digantya Mukherjee 35 n.o.). Sabuj Sangha won by 3 wkts.

Durgapur CCC 81 in 20 (Subrata Sarkar 36, Amit Das 3/13). Gupinath Union CCC 82/1 (Rajib Saha 61 n.o.). Gupinath Union CCC won by 9 wkts.    


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