Cricket: Imran: `Players did accept bribes'

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The Independent Online
THE FORMER Pakistan captain Imran Khan told a judicial inquiry yesterday that some Pakistani players were involved in corruption and took bribes to throw the matches.

"I am sure some Pakistani players were involved in the betting," Imran testified. He recalled a match played in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates in 1989 when several Pakistani players had allegedly taken money to throw a match.

As a means of preventing his side from deliberately losing the game, Imran said that he had taken all of Pakistan's previous earnings in the tournament and gambled the entire amount on his team to win.

Imran claimed that he was warned by another former Pakistan captain, Javed Miandad about his renegade players' suspected attempts to throw the match. When he heard, Imran said: "I was worried... it was quite unusual... after careful thinking I decided to bet all the money we had made in the other matches on our team. That is how we won the match."

The judicial inquiry, being held in Lahore, is investigating allegations that senior Pakistani players, including Wasim Akram and Salim Malik, participated in match-fixing.

The inquiry stems from allegations made by Australian cricketers, as well as some of Pakistan's own team members.

While he was captain, Imran said Wasim was a "very clean member" of the team. But whether that has changed, he said, "I don't know."

Imran said his first introduction to match-fixing was nearly two decades ago on a tour of India. Then, the Pakistan captain was Asif Iqbal, who told his Indian counterpart that he had won the toss without looking at the coin. Pakistan lost the Test.

Imran told the inquiry that corrupt players should be banned from the game and heavily fined. He blamed the problems on the Pakistan Cricket Control Board, saying they had failed to take punitive action against corrupt cricketers.

The judicial inquiry will submit its report to the government on 30 November.

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