Keep mum on fixing issue, PCB tells officials

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LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board has issued stern directives to the national team and team management to refrain from making comments on the scandalous issue of match-fixing.
It has been learnt the PCB clearly directed team manager Intikhab ALam, coach Waqar Younis and captain Shahid Afridi not to talk on the issue and if there was a question posed before them they should avoid commenting on the subject. Pakistan has been at the centre of attention in the cricketing world since last September when three of its players Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamir were accused of spot-fixing resulting in the International cricket Council suspending the trio with their appeals pending full hearing next month.
The national cricket team is on nearly a two-month tour of New Zealand having landed in Auckland on Sunday. During their stay in New Zealand, Pakistan will play three T20 games, two test matches and six ODIs.
An official of the board stated that each and every member of the squad has been categorically asked to watch their actions as Pakistan cricket is not in a position to face any more controversies. The ICC has also sent John Rhodes to monitor the national team’s tour. The monitoring of Pakistan’s matches and players started during its recent home series in UAE against South Africa. The PCB official further disclosed the board would not hold back in its efforts to keep the game clean and any player found involved in any controversy will have to face the music. He said that Pakistan cricket is back on track after their successful series against South Africa and the current tour will help them prepare for the World Cup 2011. Pakistan will open its tour with a T20 practice match today ahead of the competitive series.
Tour schedule
Dec 23: v Auckland, T20, Auckland
Dec 26: 1st T20 Int’l, Auckland
Dec 28: 2nd T20 Int’l, Hamilton
Dec 30: 3rd T20 Int’l, Christchurch
Jan 2-4: v New Zealand XI, Whangarei
Jan 7-11: 1st test, Hamilton
Jan 15-19: 2nd test, Basin Reserve, Wellington
Jan 22: 1st ODI, Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Jan 26: 2nd ODI, Queenstown
Jan 29: 3rd ODI, Christchurch
Feb 1: 4th ODI, Napier
Feb 3: 5th ODI, Hamilton
Feb 5: 6th ODI, Auckland