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PCB has soft corner for bookmakers: Former chairman

Mehmood advised the board to report bookies to Federal Investigation Agency

PCB has soft corner for bookmakers: Former chairman PHOTO: AFP

Former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Khalid Mehmood, while talking to Daily Express, opened up about the recent fixing saga surrounding Pakistan cricket.

Pakistan middle-order batsman Umar Akmal has been banned for breaching Article 2.4.4 of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)'s Anti-Corruption code. He had failed to disclose corrupt approaches made to him and was suspended just before the beginning of Pakistan Super League (PSL) season five.

Mehmood has advised the PCB to take legal action against the bookie, who approached Akmal with a corrupt offer.

"Umar Akmal got banned because he failed to report an approach by a bookie. There should be action taken against the bookie as well. I don’t understand why PCB has a soft spot for bookies," said Mehmood. "PCB’s legal advisor Taffazul Rizvi gave a very odd explanation regarding not having the authority to take action against the bookies. If someone steals something from PCB, will the board say the same thing? They will go to the police and lodge an FIR. Then why can’t the PCB take action against the bookies by lodging a complaint with the Federal Investigation Agency."

"If some PCB officials are also involved with bookies, then this is a very dangerous thing. The people who control the fixers should also be punished. It is failure of the board to just punish the cricketers and not take any action against the bookies," he added.

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Former Pakistan cricketer Saleem Malik has come forward against recently and denied his role in match-fixing, reiterating that he was cleared by a Lahore Civil Court in 2008. However, the former PCB chairman is not buying what Malik has to say in his defense.

"There was strong evidence against Saleem Malik in the Justice Qayyum report. Australian cricketers Shane Warne and Mark Waugh had also admitted that Malik had offered them money to lose the 1994 Karachi Test match. There was a long list of cricketers and bookies who testified against Malik," he said.

"If Malik was innocent, then why didn’t he go to the court then? During the investigation, Malik had nothing to defend himself with and used to claim that someone was conspiring against him, which was nonsense. The reason why he got cleared eight years later was because PCB didn’t provide evidence in the court," he added.