CRICKET: Salim in appeal to ICC as ban lifted

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The Independent Online

Pakistan's cricket authorities yesterday lifted the ban they imposed on their former Test captain, Salim Malik, over allegations of bribery.

The decision was taken by a three-member ad hoc committee in charge of cricket affairs, which said Salim "must be considered innocent" until proven guilty.

Salim was stripped of the captaincy of his country and banned from first- class cricket on 7 March, pending an inquiry into allegations of attempted bribery made by two Australian bowlers, Shane Warne and Tim May. He was given seven days to answer the charges.

Warne and May had alleged that Salim had offered them bribes when the Australian team toured Pakistan last year. The tourists lost the series 1-0 after two Tests were drawn.

Now Salim is free to play pending the inquiry, a committee statement said, adding that the decision had been taken after seeking legal advice.

Salim wants to be allowed to "confront his accusers and to cross-examine them" and the committee intend to approach the London-based International Cricket Council to make the Australian cricketers available in Pakistan for the purpose, the statement said.

The ICC chief executive, David Richards - a former head of the Australian Cricket Board - has been "verbally" informed and a formal request will be sent, it added.

Salim had told the committee the charges against him were "totally baseless."

The decision means Salim can play in the Asia Cup tournament in Sharjah next month, for which Pakistan have yet to name a squad - or a captain.