A Pakistani parliamentary committee has summoned captain Younis Khan,coach Intikhab Alam and cricket board chief Ejaz Butt to seek an explanation for the last-ball loss to Australia at the Champions Trophy in South Africa last week.
Jamshed Dasti,chairman of the Standing Committee on Sports in the Pakistani Lower House,told AP that the team lost to Australia to keep India out of the final. Had Pakistan,then already in the last four,won the September 30 match at Centurion,India,who hammered the West Indies in a later game the same day,would have had a genuine chance of going through as well.
They lost to Australia just to keep India out of the tournament, Dasti said. They (the team) underperformed. We will be meeting with them on October 13 as we feel the team deliberately lost the games against Australia and New Zealand (in the semi-final).
We have been told by some respected and senior people and we are also trying to collect evidence that there might have been some hanky-panky in the match against Australia and New Zealand, PTI quoted Dasti as saying. We will get to the bottom of this whole affair and find out the truth. The nation must know the truth of what happened in South Africa.
In the New Zealand game,captain Younis Khan who returned to Pakistan along with coach Alam yesterday dropped Grant Elliott at a crucial time,a life which the Kiwi allrounder converted into a performance that won his team the match.
The parliamentary committee has summoned PCB officials in the past as well. The panel is empowered to give recommendations to the countrys Prime Minister and President. This time I can assure you that we will make sure our recommendations are given due consideration, Dasti said.
PCB spokesman Nadeem Sarwar said,So far,we have not received anything in writing from Mr Dasti that we have to appear before the committee on October 13. The Pakistan team did very well and qualified for the semifinal, he said.
Neither Younis nor Alam were available for a comment. But former captain Rashid Latif lashed out at Dasti for making serious allegations without proof.
I was one of those who first raised the issue of match fixing in international cricket so I know what I am talking about. I can say the team did its best and played hard in the tournament. A few mistakes cost them a place in the final, Latif told PTI. I think parliamentarians should first look at the corruption in the government before talking about cricket.
Former skipper Imran Khan too dismissed the charges. No,I dont think any match-fixing or hanky-panky took place. We were just too over-confident and complacent and we paid the price for it, PTI quoted Imran as having told Geo Super channel.