Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Pak players approached by Bookies in Colombo: Report

The menace of match-fixing reared its ugly head again on Wednesday with a media report claiming that Pakistani cricketers were approached by bookmakers in Colombo during the recently-concluded Test series against Sri Lanka.

A mainstream Urdu daily claimed in a report that some unidentified Indian bookies approached several Pakistani players during the second and third Tests against Sri Lanka in Colombo earlier this week.

Yawar Saeed, the Pakistan team manager, was quoted as saying by the newspaper that the incidents did happen but the team management took appropriate steps to erase any chances of further contacts between the players and the bookies.

"Yes we were told by some of the players that a few suspicious people approached them during the Colombo Tests," Yawar was quoted as saying in the report. "We lodged a complaint with the hotel management and they immediately shifted all of us to another floor of the hotel," he said.

Yawar said the players have been strictly told to avoid such people and if anybody approaches them they should immediately inform the team management about it.

According to details, the alleged `Indian` bookies contacted the players during the second and third Test matches in Colombo, inviting them for lunches and dinners.

According to Yawar, they were Mumbai-based bookies who probably are "in action again to try and get matches fixed".

The report has added fuel to suspicions of foul-play in Pakistan`s 0-2 defeat in the Test series against Sri Lanka. Pakistan lost the first two Tests from seemingly winning positions and then failed to win the final one in spite of having the upper hand. That match ended in a draw.

Pakistan cricket was hit hard by allegations of match-fixing in the nineties and resulted in a life-ban on former captain Saleem Malik and fines on several other players.

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