Mushtaq appointment raises many eyebrows

By Rashid Ali Siddiqui, Karachi – Pakistan, May 13, 2014: Pakistan cricket team had new set of officials with the prime object of raising the standard of players and focusing on the preparation of forthcoming World Cup 2015.

Its irony of the fact or maybe a deliberate attempt to bring some of those former players, whose careers have been declared tainted in early 2000 by Justice Malik Muhammad Qayyum Inquiry Commission on match-fixing.

PCB’s incumbent chairman Najam Sethi, who is arguably a good political analyst but novice of game of cricket, seems to be under the influence of a certain lobby, is taking key decisions in terms of appointments of team officials on contracts for next two year though he has been entrusted with the task of drafting a new constitution of PCB. He has been appointed chairman for four months.

After bringing Moin Khan and Waqar Younis as manager and head coach respectively, PCB appointed Mushtaq Ahmed as spin bowling coach. He has been given two year contract.

Mushtaq Ahmed has had two previous stints as Pakistan’s spin coach, in 2005 and 2007, despite controversy over his past. He was among several players censured in a match-fixing report compiled by Judge Malik Qayyum in 2000.

The inquiry report said that he had been in touch with bookmakers and recommended that he be banned from positions of responsibility within the team and board.

The Qayyum commission banned former captain Salim Malik and pace man Ataur Rehman for two years and fined six others.

Its mockery that Moin Khan, Intikhab Alam and Haroon Rashid, being part of the coach selection committee have recommended these appointments.

All these officials were part of match-fixing report. Intikhab and Haroon were team officials when match-fixing scandal was surfaced and both were cross-examined by Inquiry Commission.

Haroon Rasheed, then coach of Pakistan team had stated before the commission that some matches, including the One Day between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in Colombo in Asia Cup 1997 and home One Day series match against India at Karachi in 1997 was fixed.

Haroon Rasheed was of the opinion that the test match played at Faisalabad against South Africa was also fixed when Pakistan was all out for 116 chasing a target of 144 runs in the second innings.

The commission had recommended that PCB should enforce declaration of assets by all its players and, if necessary, initiate a probe into their accounts.

In addition to recommendation of other punishments, fines were recommended against the following players including former captain Salim Malik (Rs. 10 lac), former captain Wasim Akram (Rs. 3 lac), Mushtaq Ahmad (Rs. 3 lac), Ata-ur-Rehman (Rs. 1 lac), Waqar Younis (Rs. 1 lac), Inzamam-ul-Haq (Rs. 1 lac), Akram Raza (Rs. 1 lac) and Saeed Anwar (Rs. 1 lac).

In the presence of tainted players in team management, Pakistan team may bargain to win coming series and show good performance in World Cup 2015. —- By Rashid Ali Siddiqui

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