Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Pakistan delibrately lost to Australia, alleges Dasti

Karachi: Match-fixing has returned to haunt Pakistan cricket with the parliamentary committee on sports summoning PCB chief Ejaz Butt, captain Younis Khan and coach Intikhab Alam to seek explanation for the team's Champions Trophy loss to Australia after allegations of deliberate underperformance.

A senior parliamentarian, who heads the national assembly standing committee on sports, has accused the team of deliberately losing to Australia in the Champions Trophy in a group match.

Jamshed Khan Dasti said the standing committee would summon Butt, Younis and Alam shortly to explain the team's performance in the Champions Trophy.

"There is evidence that the team lost the match to Australia on purpose. It underperformed. Then against New Zealand also there are signs the team didn't want to win," Dasti alleged.

"We have been told by some respected and senior people and we are also trying to collect evidence that there might have been some hanky panky in the match against Australia and New Zealand," Dasti claimed.

Pakistan's last-ball defeat to Australia put India out of the Champions Trophy while their defeat to New Zealand in the semifinal came as a surprise to many.

Dasti lashed out at Butt and the team for disappointing the nation.

"I can say we lost to Australia on purpose. And the team's performance against New Zealand was zero. We will get to the bottom of this whole affair and find out the truth the nation must know the truth of what happened in South Africa," he said.

Dasti said the standing committee would not allow corruption in cricket.

"We want to see changes in the board and Butt must go because as it is he is too old for this job," he added.

Dasti said he would issue a notification in two days time summoning the captain and coach and board Chairman to explain themselves before the committee.

"We have heard a lot about match fixing allegations some people are telling us things and we also sense team didn't perform well on purpose. So we want to find out the truth," he said.

Neither Younis nor Intikhab were available for their reaction to the serious allegations by Dasti which is likely to set off a whole new controversy in Pakistan cricket.

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