Cricket: Wasim flies home to refute match-fixing charges

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The Independent Online
THE SUSPENDED Pakistan captain, Wasim Akram, will fly home from England today to try to clear his name.

Wasim, suspended as part of the match-fixing inquiry along with the middle- order batsmen Salim Malik and Ijaz Ahmed, said: "I am coming home and am ready to face allegations because I have not done anything wrong." The 32-year-old all-rounder confirmed he would hold talks with Mujeebur Rehman, who is in charge of a committee running the Pakistan Cricket Board following the suspension of the original board. Wasim is alleged to have paid around pounds 1,250 to the Pakistan bowler Ata-ur-Rehman to bowl badly in a one-day international against New Zealand at Christchurch on 16 March 1994.

He is also accused of throwing a one-day match against India in Toronto in 1996. Salim has been charged with match-fixing against South Africa in 1994-95 while Ijaz allegedly colluded with the pair.

Rehman has named the former Somerset player Yawar Saeed as manager of the national team. He told reporters that Saeed would help build the side for the next World Cup, to be held in South Africa in 2003.

Saeed played for Somerset in the early 1950s and was Pakistan manager in 1996-97. He replaces Zafar Altaf, who managed the side during this year's World Cup.

The swing bowler Adam Dale has been chosen to replace the recently retired Paul Reiffel in Australia's one-day international squad to tour Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe.