Pakistan says bookies' case reported to ICC

KARACHI: Pakistan's cricket board said Saturday it had made a report to the sport's governing body about bookmakers trying to approach players during its ongoing tour in Sri Lanka.

The move followed a report in Pakistan's leading Urdu daily "Express" earlier this week alleging bookmakers were seen trying to make contact with Pakistani players in their Colombo hotel during the second Test against Sri Lanka.

"The matter was reported to the official of the ICC (International Cricket Council) in Sri Lanka and they took some urgent steps," the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said in a statement.

Pakistan team manager Yawar Saeed confirmed the presence of some "unwanted people" who tried to approach players in the team hotel.

"There were some people who wanted to meet the players and invited them for tea but the players reported the matter to us and we told them not to meet any unwanted people," Saeed told AFP from Colombo.

The PCB said the team management reported the matter to the ICC's Anti Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU).

"Match fixing in all the ICC matches is monitored by the ICC. Currently there are one or two senior staff of the ACSU in Sri Lanka ensuring complete control over the match fixing," the PCB said.

Pakistan captain Younus Khan told the Geo television station: "No bookie has approached me. If ever one does, I will catch him and hand him over to the ICC because these people have destroyed the game."

PCB chairman Ijaz Butt confirmed the incident.

"We got some reports and the team management changed floors in the hotel," Butt told a committee of Pakistan's Senate on Wednesday.

Match fixing and betting allegations have rocked the cricket world, and Pakistan in particular, forcing the ICC to form the ACSU in 2000.

Australian trio Shane Warne, Tim May and Mark Waugh alleged Pakistan's Salim Malik, then team captain, offered them bribes to underperform during their tour of Pakistan in 1995.

The Pakistan government conducted a judicial inquiry between September 1998 to May 2000, handing life bans to Malik and paceman Ata-ur-Rehman.

Six other players -- Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Saeed Anwar, Mushtaq Ahmed, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Akram Raza -- were fined.

Pakistan also conducted a judicial inquiry after their surprise defeat to Bangladesh in the 1999 World Cup triggered fixing allegations. However, no player was charged in that inquiry.