HomeSportCricketCricket players to get life bans — Minister

Cricket players to get life bans — Minister

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Sports Minister Ijaz Hussain Jakhrani has promised life bans for any Pakistan cricketers found guilty of match-fixing after a man was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud bookmakers.

On Saturday, London police said they arrested a 35-year-old man for offering bribes to Pakistan players for spot-fixing in the fourth Test against England at Lord’s following allegations in the tabloid newspaper, the News of the World.

England went on to clinch victory yesterday by an innings and 225 runs, winning the series 3-1.

“We are waiting for a detailed report from the Pakistan Cricket Board and if any players are found guilty of being involved in fixing, they will be banned for life,” Jakhrani told Reuters Sunday.

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has called for a detailed report from the cricket board over the allegations.

Spot-fixing involves betting on incidents during a match, such as no-balls and wides, which have been pre-arranged.

Zardari’s spokesperson, Farhatullah Babar, said the president wanted to be kept informed of developments and the status of any inquiry that may be ordered or held in London.

“The chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (Ijaz Butt) has been directed to immediately submit a preliminary report about the incident,” said Babar.

l England completed a crushing innings and 225-run victory over Pakistan in the fourth and final Test at Lord’s yesterday on a morning overshadowed by corruption allegations.

In an innings in keeping with an unusual game, Umar Akmal smashed 79 not-out from 68 balls including two sixes in a total of 147. He shared a last-wicket partnership of 50 with Mohammad Asif, who contributed only one, but still could not prevent Pakistan tumbling to the biggest defeat in their Test history.

England won the series 3-1 after dominating the first two Tests before they were defeated by four wickets in the third match at the Oval. Pakistan, who played six Tests in seven weeks, drew 1-1 with Australia earlier in the season.

Pakistan resumed at 41-4 in their second innings before a scattering of spectators on a dull, overcast day.

They left their north London hotel late Sunday morning and did not take part in the usual team warm-up before play began.

Off-spinner Graeme Swann, who took four for 12 in Pakistan’s first innings of 74, was again the destroyer with 5-62.

Swann bowled Azhar Ali for 12 and Mohammad Amir for a duck as three wickets fell in the space of 11 balls.

Wahab Riaz was caught by Kevin Pietersen at mid-on off Swann without scoring before Umar Akmal flourished with a frenetic innings including a huge six over long-on in his first half-century of the series.
—Reuters

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