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Friday, 5 May, 2000, 13:13 GMT 14:13 UK
Salim denies exile reports

Salim Malik (right): Praised this week's ICC announcement
Former Pakistan cricket captain Salim Malik has said he is ready to face any inquiry on match fixing and rejected reports that he was planning to leave the country for good.

Salim and leg spinner Mushtaq Ahmed are at the centre of the probe into bribery and fixing, which is the latest development in the continuing clamp down on corruption in cricket.

I was cleared by a Supreme Court judge in 1995 and again in 1999 but there are some people who always conspire against me with allegations

Salim Malik

The former captain has been at the centre of intense media speculation, with suggestions that he may leave Pakistan if an inquiry by Malik Mohammad Qayyum, a judge of the Lahore High Court, goes against him.

Should Salim or Mushtaq be found guilty, they could be the first victims of new International Cricket Council measures designed to stamp out misconduct, which include life bans for those found guilty of corruption.

But Salim denied that he intended to leave, telling the French news agency: "I am in Pakistan and will remain in Pakistan until all the inquiries clear me."

Mushtaq is currently on the West Indies tour with Pakistan.

Mushtaq Ahmed: On tour in the West Indies

Salim was implicated by Australian cricketers Shane Warne, Mark Waugh and Tim May, who said that he offered them bribes to play badly during the Aussies' tour of Pakistan in 1994.

"I was cleared by a Supreme Court judge in 1995 and again in 1999 but there are some people who always conspire against me with allegations," the former Pakistani captain said.

Salim was cleared of match-fixing after an investigation by deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif's Accountability Bureau in August 1999.

He was droped by Pakistan after the 1999 World Cup in England.

"I am ready to play and hope to stage a comeback once I get into form," he said.

Meanwhile, Salim praised the ICC's decision to crack down on corruption after a two-day emergency meeting on match fixing.

"Its good news they are taking the matter seriously, but they should handle those who put baseless allegations."

The Pakistan Cricket Board's chairman General Tauqir Zia will discuss Qayyum's report with President of Pakistan Mohammad Rafiq Tarrar.

Zia has promised the findings of the report would be made public.

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See also:

04 May 00 | Cricket
Cricket under the microscope
03 May 00 | Cricket
Corrupt cricketers face life bans
28 Apr 00 | Cricket
Lewis stands by 'fixing' claims
27 Apr 00 | Cricket
The ECB findings in full
27 Apr 00 | South Asia
High-level cricket inquiry in India
Links to other Cricket stories are at the foot of the page.