Ex cricket officials lambast PCB for deserting tainted trio

Karachi, Feb 6 (PTI) The PCB and its chairman Ijaz Butthas come in for severe criticism from former cricketadministrators and legal experts following the ICC''s decisionto ban the tainted trio of Salman Butt, Muhammad Asif andMuhammad Aamir for being involved in spot-fixing.

Following the announcement of the bans by the ICCanti-corruption tribunal head, Micheal Beloff QC in Dohayesterday, several cricket officials blamed the PCB forabandoning the players when they needed its support andguidance the most.

"Morally I think Ijaz Butt should resign after the banson these players. The board mishandled this case from thestart and allowed the ICC to take matters into its own hands,"former ICC President Ehsan Mani said.

"If the board had first taken the spot-fixing allegationsagainst these players seriously and suspended them and sentthem home from England and then allowed them to hire top legalhelp, this situation would not have transpired.

"I feel bad for the players but they did something wrongand got punished. They still should not have been abandoned bythe board," Mani added.

Former chairman of the Board Khalid Mehmood pointed outthat it was wrong on part of the PCB to just distance itselffrom the players.

"I don''t want to discuss whether they are guilty or notbut the fact is once there were allegations against them theboard should have hired the best legal help to vet theavailable evidence accumulated by the ICC.

"If nothing else the PCB could have played a bigger partin ensuring the bans were not so lengthy and shocking,"Mehmood said.

Another former Board chairman Lt General (retd) TauqirZia felt the players should not have been left rudderless andallowed to give statements that damaged their own cases.

"I think the PCB knew the facts and could have counselledthe players on that basis. From what I know if the players hadadmitted their mistake and sought pardon the bans could havebeen reduced by the tribunal," he said.

A well-known barrister Amjad Malik was also critical ofthe board''s role and felt they had damaged the cases of theplayers with their mishandling and misreading of theseriousness of the situation immediately after the spot-fixingallegations were first made against the players. (More) PTICorr SHN

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