PCB Chief rubbishes match-fixing allegations

KARACHI: Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Ijaz Butt Thursday rubbished recent match-fixing allegations leveled against the national team and defended the players after their ICC Champions Trophy defeat.

Pakistan''s loss to Australia in a Champions Trophy''s group match and their defeat at the hands of New Zealand in the semi-final last week sparked allegations that the team threw the matches. Jamshed Dasti, chairman of National Assembly''s standing committee on sports, asked captain Younus Khan and coach Intikhab Alam to explain reasons for disappointing knock-out in South Africa. Although Dasti later backed down from his accusations, PCB defended the players.

"The parliamentarian has a right to criticize the working of the Board but he should not have criticised the team which did very well in the Champions Trophy. There is no proof of fixing," Butt told reporters on his return from South Africa."Indian media first levelled such allegations last week... all such things are baseless," he added.

Pakistan was at the top of their group when they lost to Australia last Wednesday, which had no bearing on their progression to the semi finals. But if Pakistan had won against Australia, India would have had as hot at making it though to the semi-finals on points.

Pakistan''s defeat ensured their arch-rivals were knocked out of the tournament.

The International Cricket Council also rubbished the latest allegations of match-fixing, saying they were not worth investigating.

Butt said he was satisfied with the team''s performance in the Trophy. "This is cricket, and we are ready to explain the team''s performance to parliament committee," said Butt of the meeting scheduled for October 13.