KARACHI - Former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif Thursday backed former team-mate Salim Malik in his bid to overturn a life ban imposed 14 years ago for match-fixing.
Latif, known for his fight against corruption in cricket, said Malik had already suffered enough and should be allowed to coach or do similar work. "I think Malik should be given relief now," Latif told AFP. "He is not playing or coaching cricket and has served 14 years of his ban." Latif was the first to blow the whistle on match-fixing on Pakistan's tour of South Africa and Zimbabwe in 1995, accusing Malik and other team-mates of wrongdoing.
Shane Warne, Tim May and Mark Waugh revealed the same year that Malik had offered them bribes to under-perform in matches on Australia's tour to Pakistan in 1994. The allegations prompted the then-Pakistan government to conduct a judicial inquiry in 1998 through Lahore high court judge Malik Mohammad Qayyum who after a two-years investigation banned Malik and paceman Ataur Rehman for life. The commission also fined six leading players: Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Saeed Anwar, Mushtaq Ahmed, Inzamam-ul Haq and Akram Raza.
Rehman had his ban overturned by a one-man Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) commission in 2003. Malik's ban was also overturned by a civil court in Lahore in 2008 but the decision has not been endorsed by either the PCB or the International Cricket Council (ICC). On Wednesday Malik contacted PCB chairman Najam Sethi, seeking a review on his ban.
The PCB has promised to review the ban but has not assured anything. Latif said the PCB and ICC never endorsed the Qayyum commission report. "ICC and PCB never endorsed the Justice Qayyum inquiry in totality and that's why Rehman got relief," said Latif, who played 37 Tests and 166 one-day internationals for Pakistan. "If other players (fined by the Qayyum commission) can do cricket-related jobs in private leagues and with cricket boards, Malik also deserves the same," said Latif, without naming anyone.
His former team-mate Mushtaq served as spin coach for England between 2010 to 2014 and is also tipped to take a role in the Pakistan cricket team's management despite a ban by the commission on him taking any role in the board or team.