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Saturday, 17 November, 2001, 17:50 GMT
Wasim called by fixing inquiry
Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram
Wasim says his conscience is clear
By a BBC Sport Online correspondent in Lahore

Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram has been summoned to appear next Saturday before an inquiry probing match-fixing allegations during the 1999 World Cup.

Akram led the side during the tournament in England when two of their defeats - to Bangladesh and India - came under suspicion.

I want this maligning campaign against the Pakistan team to end once and for all
Wasim Akram
Akram has in the past denied any match-fixing took place and said his conscience is clear.

"I am ready to appear before any commission and want this maligning campaign against the Pakistan team and players to end once and for all," Akram told BBC Sport Online last month.

Akram, who has suffered from diabetes since 1995, is currently taking part in an awareness campaign around Pakistan as a spokesperson for a pharmaceutical company.

Saturday's hearing

Justice Karamat Bhandari's one-man commission held its seventh hearing Saturday, at which two Pakistani journalists appeared.

Waheed Khan of Pakistan's largely circulated The News and freelancer Zahid Maqsood told the court they had heard rumours of match-fixing but couldn't substantiate the allegations.

"I covered the full World Cup and heard people saying that Pakistan's defeat against Bangladesh was fixed but nobody gave any proof," Khan said.

The inquiry was set up following claims from former South African cricket chief and current World Cup 2003 director Ali Bacher that he had been told matches were fixed.

World Cup 2003 director Ali Bacher
Ali Bacher has so far refused to help the commission
Those claims were backed up by former Pakistan captain Majid Khan, who was chief executive of the Pakistan Cricket Board during the 1999 tournament, and former pace bowler Sarfraz Nawaz.

However, although he made the claims in front of South Africa's King Commission, Bacher has so far declined to appear before this inquiry.

The commission urged Bacher to provide material or record his statement to substantiate allegations of match-fixing, but Bacher has not responded as yet.

Khan said that Bacher's statement would be crucial.

"Since Dr Bacher first levelled allegations of match-fixing in the 1999 World Cup, his statement would be crucial and he must provide the material," he said.

Maqsood confirmed to the commission that match-fixing rumours surrounded Pakistan's World Cup defeats.

"I did not cover the Pakistan-Bangladesh match, but heard a lot of rumours about the match being fixed. However, no one gave any solid proof," he said.

"An Indian journalist told me that Pakistan would lose the match, but he too had no material to substantiate those claims."

Fixing denied

Justice Bhandari was appointed in May this year and started his proceedings in September.

Four top Pakistan players - current captain Waqar Younis, Moin Khan, Saeed Anwar and Inzamam-ul-Haq - denied any match-fixing while recording their statements last month.

Justice Malik Mohammad Qayyum conducted Pakistan's first judicial inquiry in 1998 and 1999.

It saw former captain Salim Malik and all-rounder Ata-ur-Rehman banned for life while six others, including Wasim and Waqar, were fined.

Qayyum concluded that, while there was insufficient evidence to ban Wasim, he should not be regarded as above suspicion.

See also:

14 Nov 01 |  Cricket
Malik appeal to be heard
13 Nov 01 |  Cricket
ICC looks to extend fixing bans
15 Aug 01 |  Cricket
Inzamam threatens legal action
15 Oct 01 |  Cricket
Akram's conscience clear
13 Oct 01 |  Cricket
Stadiums offer for Pakistan
02 Oct 01 |  Cricket
Pakistan probe intensifies
29 Sep 01 |  Cricket
Sarfraz says Cup matches fixed
20 Sep 01 |  Corruption in Cricket
Fixing now 'suppressed'
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