ICL withheld pay from players over match-fixing

THE involvement of a former Pakistan Test cricketer with bookmakers last year forced organisers of the unauthorised Indian Cricket League (ICL) to withhold payments to all of its Pakistan players, Pakistan media reported.

THE involvement of a former Pakistan Test cricketer with bookmakers last year forced organisers of the unauthorised Indian Cricket League (ICL) to withhold payments to all of its Pakistan players, Pakistan media reported.

"This (Pakistani) cricketer fixed (ICL) matches with the help of local bookmakers," the Urdu-language daily Jang quoted an unnamed ICL official as saying.

Another Urdu-language newspaper, The Daily Express, published a similar report, quoting the unnamed ICL official.

ICL organisers were not immediately available to comment on the reports when contacted yesterday.

After the matter came to the notice of the ICL, the player in question was dropped from the remainder of the Twenty20 tournament.

Jang also reported that it was because of the Pakistan player's involvement with bookmakers that the rest of the tournament's Pakistani cricketers have been unable to get their payments cleared by the ICL.

However, "those players have now been assured that their payments will be cleared in a month's time", Jang said.

The ICL is reported to have suffered a heavy financial loss last year, slowing the process of paying the international players involved.

An International Cricket Council official, who declined to be named, said the sport's governing body has nothing to do with the issue as the ICL is an unsanctioned league.

Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq led a Pakistani team named Lahore Badshah in the ICL while a few other Pakistani players like Taufeeq Umar, Shabbir Ahmed and Hasan Raza competed for other teams in the league.

Earlier this year the Pakistan Cricket Board declared an amnesty for all those ICL players who severed their ties with the rebel league.

All-rounder Abdul Razzaq, fast bowler Rana Naved and opening batsman Imran Nazir have made comebacks to the national team after terminating their contracts with the ICL. - Sapa-AP

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