Pakistan will send a team of investigators to probe bribe allegations against players of the national cricket team. Interior minister Rehman Malik says that the team will help British police in investigating the claims.
Series against England not to be cancelled
The investigative team is to comprise two officials from the Federal Investigation Agency and one representative from the Ministry of Sports. Malik said that the team would investigate a newspaper report, which says three players were bribed to bowl 'no balls' in the test match against England last week. He however did not rule out the possibility that this might be a ploy to tarnish the image of the Pakistani cricket team.
Interior Minister Rehman Malik
The International Cricket Council (ICC) and the British police have already begun investigations into the match fixing allegations. ICC head Sharad Pawar said that the ICC's anti corruption unit will submit a report within the next three days. However, Pakistan's current series against England will go ahead as scheduled, he added.
The President of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari has also asked for reports on the issue, according to his spokesperson Farhatullah Babar. Zardari is also the patron of the Pakistan Cricket Board, PCB. PCB Chairman Ijaz Butt has said that players would be suspended only after allegations against them were proved to be correct.
Outrage among fans
The three players allegedly involved in the scam are Salman Butt, pace bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir. British tycoon Mazhar Majeed was earlier arrested for aiding the scam but he has now been released on bail. Majeed also functions as an agent for several players.
Cricket fans in Pakistan are outraged with the news. Several protest marches were held in Lahore on Monday. Protestors paraded donkeys bearing players' names and threw shoes at them to insult them.
Editor: Disha Uppal