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Javed book hints at fixed match

London: Raking up the match-fixing issue all over again, former captain Javed Miandad has said Pakistan may have deliberately lost a one-day International against England in Sharjah prior to the 1999 World Cup.

In his autobiography, Cutting Edge, Miandad, no stranger to controversy, claims that concerns over the conduct of his team in the match on April 12, 1999, led him to resign as coach just a month before the World Cup.

Now back in charge as the team coach and preparing for Pakistan’s three-match Natwest Series opener against England at Old Trafford on Tuesday, Miandad’s claim backs up allegations about the Sharjah game made earlier by current captain Rashid Latif.

Pakistan lost to England by 62 runs — five days after thrashing them by 90 runs — and Miandad, the highest scorer in Pakistan’s Test history, says in his book that he was “concerned that our performance may have had little to do with cricket”.

According to a report in The Mail on Sunday, Miandad claims that during the interval between innings, he received telephone calls which suggested his players may have been bribed to lose the match.

“I called them to swear on the holy Koran. They said they knew nothing,” the book said. “It ended up being a turbulent team meeting during which some of the senior players were especially riled up. I didn’t let the friction get to me.

“Instead, I outlined a simple strategy and alerted everyone to play according to plan. The way our innings proceeded, though, it was as if I hadn’t said a word to anyone,” Miandad wrote. “It was a pathetic performance in cricketing terms, which was bad enough.

“But with all the talk of betting syndicates in international cricket, and with match-fixing allegations swirling around major cricket centres like Sharjah, I was also concerned that our performance may have had little to do with cricket. It wasn’t easy for me to shake off this idea.”

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