Top mafia don-Pak intelligence agency nexus behind cricket match fixing epidemic?

November 10th, 2010 - 5:28 pm ICT by ANI  

Islamabad, Nov 10 (ANI): The nexus between a “top bookmaker and mafia don” and a “powerful intelligence agency” in Pakistan may be behind the match-fixing epidemic currently bedeviling cricket, an editorial in a Pakistani newspaper has suggested.

“The elephant in the room is the link between people wielding power and bookmakers. It is alleged that a top bookmaker and mafia don has connections with a powerful intelligence agency in Pakistan,” the Daily Times editorial said.

In the wake of the latest Pakistan cricket scandal involving wicketkeeper-batsman Zulqarnain Haider, who chose to retire from international cricket after receiving threats from an unknown person, the editorial said, “If his claims are true, then alarm bells should be ringing at the International Cricket Council (ICC) headquarters and across the cricketing world. No matter what, a sport is not and cannot be more important than the life of a professional player.”

It also noted that the “decision by 24-year-old Zulqarnain to leave Dubai after receiving a threat outside his hotel without informing the PCB or team management speaks volumes about the level of trust between our players and the PCB.”

Earlier, the wicketkeeper had quietly slipped out of the Grand Hyatt in Dubai early on Monday morning and boarded a London-bound flight. The player had not even discussed his plans with any of his team officials or fellow teammates.

The editorial rued that the Pakistan president, who is also the patron-in-chief of the PCB, “has also not helped by refusing to bring changes to the PCB, even in the light of these sinister events. Furthermore, due to the continuous mismanagement of the PCB, unimaginable sorrow has been heaped on to the sport’s passionate supporters.”

It urged the PCB as well as the entire cricket world to “come together to help itself against this life-threatening cancer of match fixing,” when the “life of a young talented professional athlete is in danger.”

“The time has come for the PCB, the ICC, the cricketing community and the world of sports to wake up to the epidemic of illegal match fixing,” it said.

The editorial appreciated Pakistani security forces’ smart move to extend police protection to his family at this precarious time, and added that the ICC must extend all possible resources available to aid Zulqarnain. (ANI)

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