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'Spot-fixing': The newest crisis to hit troubled Pak cricket

Source: PTI
August 29, 2010 16:04 IST
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The shocking allegations of 'spot-fixing' against seven Pakistani cricketers are not the first for the country's players, who find themselves embroiled in such scandals at alarmingly regular intervals.

Battling to bring back international cricket after a terrorist strike targetted Sri Lankan cricketers last year, the recent allegations could not have come at a worse time for the troubled nation.

The interrogation of players, including newly-appointed captain Salman Butt and the pace duo of Mohammed Aamer and Mohammed Asif, for alleged 'spot-fixing' continues a disturbing trend in Pakistan cricket wherein corruption has become a massive problem.

The first major allegations came in 1994 when the then captain Saleem Malik was accused of fixing matches and even offering money to rival players such as Shane Warne and Mark Waugh to under-perform during Australia's tour of Pakistan.

He was banned in 2000 after an inquiry by Justice Malik Muhammad Qayyum. Even celebrated stars like Wasim Akram have had their share of corruption controversies.

Akram, in fact, lost his captaincy for allegedly offering fast bowler Ata-ur-Rahman Rs 1 lakh to under-perform against New Zealand in 1993.

Pakistan cricket's enfant terrible pacer Shoaib Akhtar had claimed he was offered a briefcase full of money to perform badly during a tour to India in 2007 but he rejected the offer.

Among the most recent instances, wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal was under suspicion for dropping catches during a Test match against Australia last year. The doubts on him were cast by the Pakistani coaching staff itself.

Just a few months ago, leg-spinner Danish Kaneria was arrested by Essex police in connection with a spot-fixing incident during a county match in September last year but was released after questioning.
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