The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Pakistan board goes on offensive

Islamabad: The PCB has dismissed as “rumours” reports that its players were involved in some wrongdoing in the Champions Trophy match against Sri Lanka.

The ICC’s Anti-Corruption Unit has sought tapes of matches involving all 12 teams taking part and there are reports that the opening game featuring Pakistan and Sri Lanka will be viewed with extra attention.

The ICC has not contacted team officials in Colombo with regard to this and neither has it got in touch with the board, said PCB director Chisty Mujahid. “Had there been anything, the ICC must have contacted PCB,” he was quoted as saying in a local daily.

“It is just a rumour, nothing else. There is no truth in it. In fact some Indian newspapers have stooped too low and they have run baseless stories. The Indian newspapers should have shown a degree of responsibility.”

Mujahid said the review of tapes of the matches by the ACU was a routine exercise.

Meanwhile, in a new twist to the continuing spate of controversies plaguing Pakistan, a latest report has revealed that skipper Waqar Younis had reportedly sought the removal of four senior players from the team for the series versus Australia.

In any case, the players in question — Wasim Akram, Saeed Anwar, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Rashid Latif — have already pulled out of the series, on grounds of fatigue and fitness. A local daily, however, quoted sources in the PCB as saying Waqar and team manager Yawar Saeed did not want them in the team.

According to a report in The News, the team management has blamed the quartet for the team’s recent string of defeats. “It has been conveyed to PCB chief Tauqir Zia that Waqar and Yawar don’t want the four seniors in the side now, as they hold them responsible for the sudden decline in form,” the sources said.

Adding to the confusion, wicketkeeper Latif has said he never wanted to rest during the Australia series. It had been reported that he wanted to opt out because of fatigue. “I have lost three years of my prime cricket years so why should I opt for rest now. I want to play as many matches as I can,” he told the PCB.

According to the paper, sources in the PCB believed Latif’s decision to rest was conveyed to the board by Mudassar. “This message was leaked out through Mudassar to the press,” they added.

Yusuf Youhana has also been ruled out against Australia with a shoulder injury, Mujahid said. “Doctors carried out a bone scan on Youhana’s shoulder in Kandy and it was confirmed he would not be able to play the Test series and doctors have advised him to take four to six weeks rest.”

It was also reported that South African coach Richard Pybus was likely to take charge of Pakistan before their next Champions Trophy match — against Holland on Saturday. The paper said Pybus had been asked to reach Pakistan in two days to finalise his contract and then go to Colombo. (Agencies)

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