Malcolm Speed calls for ban on Pak cricket

Sydney: Former ICC chief Malcolm Speed has called for a ban on Pakistan Cricket after the volatile match-rigging allegations hit the national team.

Australia’s Speed, who was chief executive of the International Cricket Council from 2001 to 2008, said suspension was a “serious” option for Pakistan.

“It looks as though it is endemic that several of the team members are involved and have been for some time,” Speed told national radio. “So perhaps they need a rest. It looks a fairly compelling case.”

British police are investigating the matter after the News of the World newspaper revealed claims of “spot-fixing” by Pakistani players in the just-completed fourth Test against England at the Lord’s.

Mazhar Majeed, the alleged fixer at the centre of the storm also claimed in front of the camera that January’s Sydney Test between Pakistan and Australia was also fixed and it earned him $1.3 million.

Mazhar Majeed, 35, a property developer and players’ agent, was arrested on match-fixing charges in London and later bailed.

Scotland Yard detectives have also interrogated Pakistan captain Salman Butt and their opening strike bowling pair of Mohammad Aamer and Mohammad Asif, along with confiscating their mobile phones.

Speed, who is among the most respected cricket administrators, said cricket is besieged by corruption.

“Corrupt bookmakers and gamblers are still out there,” he said.

“(It’s) great that they’ve been caught in England where there is a very sophisticated legal system that deals with conspiracy and specifically with cheating in sport.

“So I see that as a major positive. I would have liked it to have happened when I was involved with ICC but it didn’t happen at that time.”

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