Cricket: Salim turns down trip to Australia

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SALIM MALIK, the former Pakistan captain, has turned down the opportunity to question two Australian Test players, Shane Warne and Mark Waugh, in person over their bribery allegations in Melbourne next week.

The Pakistan Cricket Board's legal adviser, Ali Sibtain Fazli, had said Salim would be offered the chance when the Pakistan judicial commission into match-fixing allegations travels to Australia to interview Warne, Waugh and the former Australian team manager, Alan Crompton. The hearing will be in Melbourne on 8 January.

"We have also told Salim he can have a last chance to cross-question Australian players," Ali said.

However, Salim said he will not go to Australia, but will send his lawyer to cross-examine Waugh and Warne. "There is no use going to Australia. The Australian Cricket Board is protecting its players," Salim said. "I am innocent and have never indulged in betting or match-fixing," he added.

Waugh and Warne have alleged that Salim offered them bribes to perform poorly during Australia's 1994 tour of Pakistan.

While Waugh gave evidence to the commission in Lahore, next week's hearing follows last month's scandal when it was revealed both Australian players had accepted money from an illegal Indian bookmaker to provide weather and pitch information on the 1994 tour.

Salim has seized on the revelations - which had previously been kept confidential by the Australian Cricket Board, which fined Warne and Waugh for their actions - claiming it discredits their allegations against him.