Mob demands jail for Pakistan team jarrested
Friday 25 June 1999
Wasim Akram's extraordinary team, which includes perhaps the fastest bowler (Shoaib Akhtar) and the slowest runner between the wickets (Inzamam- ul-Haq) in cricket history, went down in flames on Sunday when Australia bowled them out for 132. Australia then cruised to the easiest of eight-wicket victoriess.
No nation would be happy with such an outcome. But in a country such as Pakistan, rich chiefly in troubles, cricketing success is the great national consolation. Failure, on the other hand, is the stuff of mass despair. And Pakistan's defeats are always made worse by the suspicion that they are rigged.
A long-running inquiry in Pakistan into match-fixing published an interim report last September in which Wasim, and his team-mates Ijaz Ahmed and Salim Malik, were accused of taking money to play poorly. Salim, whose oddly diffident performances had drawn suspicion before, was dropped from the team for a second time. Wasim somehow brazened it out.
But suspicion again descended during the World Cup when on 31 May Pakistan were trounced by Bangladesh, the tournament's tiddlers. During the game, Wasim seemed to be enjoying the humiliation.
Afterwards he said: "I am glad that we have lost to our brothers. The better team on the day won the match." One Indian newspaper put it: "Wasim Akram hands it on a platter to `our brothers'." Newspaper reports that thousands of Pakistanis smashed their televisions in fury were much exaggerated. But every tea-shop with a television resounded with bitter curses.
On Tuesday, donkeys were paraded through Lahore carrying effigies of Wasim and his vice-captain, Moin Khan. Yesterday a rumour swept the country that a team of top intelligence officials had been assigned to investigate the team's performance.
"They are as shrewd in making money as in playing," one fan said yesterday. "But this time they have gone too far."
Malaysia Airlines plane crash exposes alarming flaw in airline security: over one billion flights made last year without stolen-passport check
International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
Teacher shows sex tape featuring herself to pupils during class by mistake
Swarm of killer bees sting woman 1,000 times
Dead woman's body found sitting in a car after six years after direct debits ran $54,000 bank account dry
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Vince Cable: Teachers 'know absolutely nothing' about the world of work
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
- 1 International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
- 2 Australian man Rod Sommerville reacts to bite from deadly snake by reaching for cold beer
- 3 Teacher shows sex tape featuring herself to pupils during class by mistake
- 4 Singapore sting: Sky-high prices are pushing locals to the edge of affordability
- 5 Swarm of killer bees sting woman 1,000 times
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: A small but growing chain of boutique hot...
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: The company works with Tier 1 FTSE 100 Ba...
£45 - 60k Per Annum: Charter Selection: Highly profitable leisure brand, marke...
£30000 - £50000 per annum + Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: Residenti...