Wasim stands firm against £4,000 fine

Wasim Akram, the former Pakistan captain and potentially one of the key players in the forthcoming Test and one-day series against England, says he has no intention of paying the £4,000 fine imposed on him by Justice Malik Qayyum in the Judge's extensive report into match-fixing.

Wasim Akram, the former Pakistan captain and potentially one of the key players in the forthcoming Test and one-day series against England, says he has no intention of paying the £4,000 fine imposed on him by Justice Malik Qayyum in the Judge's extensive report into match-fixing.

Speaking in Nairobi, where Pakistan have been competing in the ICC Knockout Trophy, Wasim was adamant that he was innocent of any wrong-doing and is planning to lodge an appeal.

"I have done nothing wrong," he said. "I was found not guilty in the report, but was still fined. I don't understand that, and I have not paid the fine. I'm going to appeal. I have until 21 October to do that."

Unsurprisingly, Wasim's stance is at odds with that of Lord MacLaurin, chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board. In a Sunday newspaper, MacLaurin called for the International Cricket Council to impose further penalties on Wasim and the four other players given fines by Justice Qayyum.

MacLaurin's stance, and it is one that India share with respect to their former captain Mohammad Azharuddin and their former coach Kapil Dev, is that if a player is under suspicion, he should be removed from the game until his case is heard or his innocence is proven.

The timing is significant, with MacLaurin and other executive board members of the ICC due to meet in Nairobi today and tomorrow. Top of the agenda, will be the findings of the ICC's Code of Conduct Commission, set up in January 1999 to deal with corruption within the game.

The Commission has been studying the Qayyum report and advanced word is that further punishments will be recommended. If that is the case, the ICC president, Malcolm Gray, says that they will be implemented without delay and, not as has been suggested in a Sunday newspaper, at the more politically expedient time following England's tour, which ends on 11 December.

Whatever the outcome of ICC's meeting, Wasim's position will not change. "The ICC can consider the Qayyum report if they like," he said. "I don't understand why I was found not guilty and still fined. It's not the amount - it's the suspicions caused by the fine."

However, had Ata-ur-Rehmann not withdrawn his testimony that Wasim had offered him money to bowl badly in a one-day international - a change of heart that caused Qayyum to hand the player a life ban - a far more severe punishment would surely have been handed out.

In his report, made public last May, Qayyum said Wasim was to be severely censured and called for his finances to be investigated.

"The report has definitely caste a shadow on my achievements," claimed Wasim. "The only way to try and remove that shadow is not to pay the fine and to appeal. They can try me again and again and again. It's the only way I can clear my name.

"I don't want to finish because some jealous people would like me to stop. I want to finish when I choose."

Comments