Lahore: Pakistan wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal has refused to comment on match fixing allegations being levelled against him.
Talking to reporters at the airport here before leaving for Karachi, where he would taking part in a domestic T20 tournament, Akmal said he would not comment on the issue, as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has asked him not to make any statement.
Such allegations were not new in Pakistan cricket, he added.
Insiders said the selectors axed Akmal from the two T20 match series against England in Dubai, over suspicions that he deliberately dropped catches during the second Test match against Australia in Sydney.
Pakistan was in a commanding position in the Sydney Test match after bowling out Australia for a paltry 127 in the first innings but lost the match amazingly by 36 runs losing all wickets while chasing 176 runs.
“He (Kamran) is a suspect. Otherwise how can you leave out a player who had scored 64 from 33 balls against Australia in his last match,” The News quoted sources in the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), as saying.
Although Akmal has been included in the list of 30 probables for the forthcoming ICC T20 World Championship, which is scheduled to be held in the Caribbean in May, he may be axed from the final squad if he fails to clear his name.
This is not the first time that a Pakistani cricketer has been suspected of match-fixing.
Last October, National Assembly’s sports committee chief Jamshed Dast accused the Pakistan team of deliberately losing to Australia to knock old rivals India out of the Champions Trophy in South Africa. However, the committee later cleared the team of any wrongdoings.
In 2000, former Pakistan captain Salim Malik and medium pacer Ata-ur Rehman were found guilty of match-fixing by Justice Malik Qayyum. They were both banned for life following a year long investigation into the allegations.
The inquiry was launched in response to charges of betting and match-fixing against several of Pakistan’s top cricketers, including former captains Wasim Akram and Salim Malik, spinners Saqlain Mushtaq and Mushtaq Ahmed, and middle order batsman Ijaz Ahmed.
On Friday, the PCB chairman Ijaz Butt, however, had clarified that none of the players in the current Pakistani team were suspected of match-fixing. (ANI)