Ijaz Butt, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman, categorically dismissed allegations of match-fixing against his national team players yesterday. Butt added that if any of his colleagues raised the issue of match-fixing, then they were "talking nonsense." In a leaked video recording of an inquiry committee hearing, Intikhab Alam and Aqib Javed, the former coaches of the Pakistan team, raised suspicions about the performance of Kamran Akmal, the wicketkeeper, during their winless tour of Australia earlier this year.
Alam said that he was flabbergasted when Akmal missed a run out of Shane Watson in the Sydney Test and later made suggestions of match-fixing. However, Butt said the International Cricket Council's Anti-Corruption Unit had instigated strict security measures for all international matches. "Nobody is allowed to enter the players' dressing room, only the manager carries a mobile phone with him during international matches and there are several other security measures which they take," Butt said.
Match-fixing is "all media hype and nothing else", he added. The PCB fined and suspended seven cricketers - including Younis Khan, the former captain - on an inquiry committee recommendation for a lack of discipline and the poor performance during the tour of Australia. Butt said he approved all the fines and suspensions. Six players have since appealed. * AP