Melbourne, May 20 (ANI): Cricket Australia has denied reports that the Sydney Test against Pakistan was fixed, and said that Ricky Ponting-led side pulled off a remarkable victory through its own hard work.
The Pakistan team management believes that their players fixed this year's Sydney Test as well as a Twenty20 match; an inquiry into the failed Australia tour revealed.
A Cricket Australia spokesman said he had heard nothing about match-fixing allegations. "Our view on that match has always been that we won it from behind through our own efforts," The Australian quoted him, as saying.
Pakistan had a 206-run lead after the first innings and reached 1-50 in their last innings, chasing a victory total of 175, but Pakistan lost its last nine wickets for 89 runs and with it the match by 36 runs.
The performance of Pakistani wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal attracted most attention in the match. He dropped four catches in the third innings and missed a run out chance against Shane Watson when the opener was on 49. Watson went on to make 97.
More importantly, he dropped Mike Hussey three times as the middle-order batsman compiled 134. Hussey and tailender Peter Siddle went on to make a 123-run partnership and they were also aided by a defensive field setting.
Senior Pakistan coach Intikhab Alam and manager Aaqib Javed told a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) inquiry earlier this year they thought bookmakers might have been involved in the events that saw the game lost.
"I have reservations over the way he missed the run out. When I saw it I couldn't believe it. How he could miss such a big run out? I can't say 100 per cent that there is match-fixing, but I have my strong suspicions," he said.
Intikhab said: "Kamran is a match-winner but every time we came close to a victory, he played a bad shot and got out. I was flabbergasted when Kamran missed the run out. I have serious doubts about him. I have heard stories about match-fixing."
Aaqib also had suspicions about the performance of fast bowler Rana Naved-ul-Hasan in a Twenty20 match in Australia, saying, "We have heard things about him as well." (ANI)