MacLaurin's ban bid sours tour start

England cricket supremo Lord MacLaurin said today he will ban any player who refuses to co-operate in match-fixing inquiries.

England cricket supremo Lord MacLaurin said today he will ban any player who refuses to co-operate in match-fixing inquiries.

He also intends to ask the International Cricket Council to ban six Pakistani cricketers implicated in corruption.

His announcement came shortly before the England squad landed in Pakistan for winter one-day internationals and Tests.

Pakistan players immediately showed their dislike for his words.

Captain Moin Khan said: "Talk like that always gives you a boost and makes you want to prove people wrong.

"Wasim Akram and the others have already been fined and that should be the end of it."

It undermined England's first day in Pakistan for a major tour since 1987, when the infamous Mike Gatting series was played.

In addition to Wasim, who will certainly be a major contributor to Pakistan's fearsome attack, five other players fined in the inquiry into match-fixing conducted by Justice Malik Mohammad Qayyum earlier this year could also feature in the coming series.

Leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed will be a potent threat while Waqar Younis, Akram Raza, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Saeed Anwar will also be in contention with each one no doubt fired up to prove a point.

MacLaurin plans to bring up the topic with ICC president Malcolm Gray during the current conference in Nairobi and claimed: "If someone is under suspicion he should be removed from the game until his case is heard and his innocence is proved."

The 15-man squad had barely landed at Karachi airport before news filtered through that MacLaurin, the chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board, intended to ask the ICC to ban the cricketers.

Coach Duncan Fletcher attempted to distance himself from MacLaurin's views, insisting: "Those sort of problems should be left to the administrators. We want to play cricket and I'm here to coach the England cricketers - the rest should be left to other people."

But the big fear within the England camp is that the damage may already have been done and a Pakistan side who have won the last five consecutive series between the two counties will be even more intent to continue that run.

"We know we are under more pressure here in Pakistan than when we play overseas, but the whole team is confident and we are looking forward to facing England," said Moin.

"We want to put all the talk of match-fixing behind us and concentrate on our cricket just like England do - that is all in the past."

MacLaurin claims in the interests of "international relations" the ICC should not act until the end of the forthcoming Test series between the two countries on December 11, but that failed to soften the blow for a Pakistan side determined to restore their shattered reputation.

In addition to answering questions about MacLaurin's statement, England were also presented with another possible hurdle to their diplomatic efforts with the announcement that Shakeel Khan, the umpire who began the controversy on the last tour with a number of contentious decisions, has been appointed for their opening warm-up match against a Governor's XI in Karachi on Friday.

Khan has also been named as the TV umpire for the second Test in Faisalabad, where the bad relations between the two sides hit boiling point in 1987 with Gatting confronting Shakoor Rana.

Present captain Nasser Hussain has attempted to distance himself from previous tours, however, stressing: "I was still at school the last time England toured here and I'm not bothered about the past.

"There are no complaints off the pitch at all. They have given us almost everything we've asked for with the itinerary and we're really keen to get on with the cricket now."

England's first objective when they resume playing later this week is to bounce back strongly from their comprehensive ICC Trophy knockout by South Africa in Nairobi a week ago ahead of the opening one-day international in Karachi on October 24.

"We have just had a bad day against South Africa, but we're just going to have dig deep and come back," added Hussain.

"Pakistan are going to have good days but the next day we're going to have to wake up and make sure we come back at them - at no stage on this tour do we give up or throw the towel in.

"We've played some very good cricket recently, but this is our biggest test. In the next year we play Pakistan in five Test matches and Australia in five Test matches and there is no bigger test than that, particularly here in Pakistan."

News
election 2015The 10 best quotes of the campaign
News
A caravan being used as a polling station in Ford near Salisbury, during the 2010 election
election 2015The Independent's guide to get you through polling day
News
people
Voices
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month
voicesWhat I learnt from my years in government, by the former Home Secretary David Blunkett
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'