British journalist ED Hawkins has made yet another claim that Pakistani cricketers, who were believed to have been involved in spot fixing, are innocent.
ED Hawkins has opened a Pandora's box by claiming in his book that Salman Butt, M Asif and M Aamir were innocent as they were maligned in the fixing scandal.
He also put the credibility of the honourable London Court, International Cricket Council, and India and Pakistan boards at stake after claiming that Salman Butt, Asif and Aamir were 'innocent and the honourable Justice Cook of London Court has awarded wrong sentences to them as he did not know about the secrets of fixing. He also declared that India is a hub of betting and claimed that Indian bookies are involved in betting in the cricket world.
He said that in India, fixing is done on no-balls and therefore, Justice Cook's verdict regarding the involvement of three Pakistani cricketers in spot fixing was unjust.
The three Pakistani cricketers have already served their sentence in UK jails for their alleged involvement in spot fixing.
Former ICC President Ehsan Mani has urged the ICC and the Indian and Pakistan Cricket boards to ask the British journalist to produce evidence about his claims. The timing of the book could be aimed at creating sensationalism by taking advantage of the fact that Pakistan will be playing a bilateral series against India in December after five years, Mani added.
"Yes it could be a ploy to take advantage of the timing of the series and I personally see the work of the author as an attempt to create sensationalism. But even then the ICC and the Pakistan and Indian Boards can't just dismiss the matter like that," Mani said.
It also appeared that Indian bookies has joined hand with journalist to degrade Pakistan team's morale as Pakistan is going to visit India from December 22 for two Twenty20 internationals and three ODIs while bolstering Indians morale to win the series against arch-rivals.
"It does not matter why this allegations have surfaced now but what is important is that ED Hawkins has pointed a finger at the way the sport is being run by ICC. He has basically said cricket is corrupt. And I don't think one should ignore such serious allegations," Mani said.
"The ICC and the Pakistan and Indian boards need to tell the publishers of the book and the writer that they must show them evidence based on which such serious allegations have been made or else they must take them to court," he suggested.
Mani pointed out that the book had basically tried to say that both teams fixed the semi-final.
"I think there is nothing wrong in holding an inquiry again into the allegations and in this course the publishers and writer should be asked to collaborate their sensational claims with evidence," he added.
The former ICC chief said that cricket for long had been in the throes of match fixing allegations and this had hurt the image of the sport.
It looks a conspiracy against the International Cricket Council, India and Pakistan. Either the author wants publicity about his book to be marketed on November 15 or want to bring Indian team morale down by putting them under pressure in the upcoming series against England to be started in this weekend.
Almost many cricketers across the world found involved in crimes like fixing matches and escaped from punishment but unluckily Pakistan players caught at the spot, investigated by Scotland Yard, declared involved in spot fixing and ultimately punished under criminal act by a London court.
This scribe could not understand why the ICC Anti-Corruption and Security Unit failed to trace the fixing timely as this crime was on the upward trend after shifting of ICC headquarters to Dubai. ICC authorities also monitor ACSU performance that is reaching its lowest ebb and boosting corruption and fixing in every private league. If British journalist has some proof then he should come forward and handover these proofs to the ICC for further investigation. However, if there is no proof then the ICC must sue the author for his false claims that are damaging the ICC image.
It is suggested that ICC should demand proof from the journalist and if he found wrong, then sue him for the sake of world governing body's image instead of dismissing author's charges of fixing the World Cup 2011 semi-finals held in India.
On the other hand, India have also dismissed the allegations and termed it an embarrassment for India but they also not ready to sue the journalist.
Now it is up to Pakistan Cricket Board, whether it moves to court to clear its 'innocent' players' status and files damage suits against the ICC and the journalist who disgraced Pakistani by involving its team and players in the match-fixing scam. Pakistan can also demand compensation from the International Cricket Council as its players had been deprived of playing rights and pushing families of the trio into a tense situation.
Pakistan Cricket Board should also demand financial benefits to compensate the players and called back the trio into Pakistan team fold to strengthen the team.
PCB should also move against the honourable judge of London Court who erroneously punished Pakistan players according to claim by journalist and also demand financial compensation for his wrong punishment to the players as they have nearly completed their punishment term.
The two players Salman Butt and M Asif have already moved to court of arbitration for sports (CAS) and their case will be heard during February 8 to 13. While on the other hand, if journalist is telling lie, he should also be taken to court over his fictitious statements and made him accountable to save the world cricket. The journalist should be awarded exemplary punishment so that in future no one could dare to do this kind of act.
Present Pakistan Cricket Board chief Zaka Ashraf, who has a good and broad vision will took right steps to remove cheating tag from Pakistan players and to revive Pakistan's image in the cricket world for which he is working hard after assuming the charge and succeeded in improving Pakistan image in the cricket. He is working sincerely and has the ability to achieve his set targets in future. Allah will pay him for his honest and will him to achieve more successes in future too.