The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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...Still, some unease remains
- PCB closes rape-allegation chapter, but...

Calcutta: Having decided not to probe an Australian 'tabloid report,' the Pakistan Cricket Board has quickly closed the rape-allegation chapter, but there's definitely some unease within the Asian Cricket Council (ACC).

Reason being the ACC must soon pick a 14-member squad for the second tsunami fund-raiser, scheduled for February 13 at the Eden, and there won't be any end to the embarrassment if another report ' be it in a tabloid or elsewhere ' actually identifies a chosen player as the culprit.

Fund-raiser No.1, at the MCG on January 10, featured two Pakistanis ' Yousuf Youhana and Abdul Razzaq. The Asia XI will, again, be up against an ICC XI ' incidentally, huge winners in the first face-off.

'It's a tricky situation as the alleged rapist hasn't been named' Our fingers are going to be crossed, hoping that nobody selected from Pakistan somehow gets belatedly identified,' a source connected with the Kuala Lumpur-headquartered ACC told The Telegraph.

The gentleman added: 'Given that it's a scandal, one can't even make discreet inquiries'

Any revelation in the lead-up to the second tsunami fund-raiser will, clearly, push the cause to the background and generate negative publicity across continents.

The unease, therefore, is understandable.

The squad, as of now, is going to be named either on February 4 or 5. Once again, the shortlisting will be in the hands of the chief selectors of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

An Asian woman of Pakistani origin, it may be recalled, has accused a Pakistan player of raping her (in the team hotel) during last month's Test in Melbourne.

Till now, though, a police complaint hasn't been registered ' the victim has only sought counselling from the Centre against Sexual Assault ' but sources are convinced the needle of suspicion points at a flamboyant senior.

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