Cricket: Board denies bribery claims

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The Independent Online
LEGAL ADVISERS of the Pakistan Cricket Board yesterday denied reports that the Pakistani players Wasim Akram and Salim Malik had accepted bribes to throw matches from a bookmaker.

Reports claimed that the bookmaker, Raja Aftab, told a judicial commission probing match-fixing and bribery in Pakistan that leading Pakistani cricketers - including Wasim and Malik - had accepted bribes.

"That was ridiculous, Raja never said that," Ali Sajjad, a representative of the Lahore-based Sajjad Associates, said. Raja did admit involvement in gambling on cricket, squash and tennis tournaments, but he had never said that players were also involved in the illegal practice, Sajjad insisted.

The PCB's chairman and chief executive, Majid Khan and Khalid Mahmood respectively, along with Rashid Latif, a former Pakistan captain, will issue statements tomorrow. Rashid accused Malik of involvement in match fixing during the 1994-95 tour of South Africa.

Mark Waugh and Mark Taylor of Australia also recorded statements on 6 October, when Waugh repeated his allegation that Malik offered him a bribe during a tour in 1994.

Mohammad Azharuddin is set to play his 300th one-day international later this month after being retained as Indian captain today for his country's next two limited-overs tournaments. Azharuddin has been retained for this month's mini-World Cup in Bangladesh and the Sharjah Cup despite India's embarrassing Test defeat against Zimbabwe last week.