"We could not remove players named in Qayyum report due to lack of bench strength"

MenInG

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The life ban verdict of the ECB Disciplinary committee constituted to investigate the allegations that Danish Kaneria “knowingly induced or encouraged” another player to deliberately underperform in exchange for money has undoubtedly sent shock waves throughout the cricketing community. However, in reality, it simply represents yet another failure by the authorities to stamp out corruption from the gentleman’s game.

Whilst many observers of the game may have only started to pay attention to this menace as a result of the events of the Summer of 2010 when a tabloid newspaper in the UK exposed corrupt dealings involving 3 of Pakistan’s top cricketers, the fact remains that “fixing” within cricket games had been identified as a serious challenge to the future of the game as far back as a decade ago.

Convicted in court and disgraced by the ICC, Ex Pakistan Captain Salman Butt’s latest protestations of innocence may well gain popularity in the airwaves in 2012 but he is not the first to be accused or condemned in this manner. Salman Butt thus finds himself in the company of other notorious “hall of famers”, consisting of some well known names such as the late South African Captain Hansje Cronje or closer to home, the Ex Pakistani Captain Saleem Malik.

Fortunately, the fight against corruption in Cricket has not always been a losing proposition. Whereas whistleblowers and sting operations may have made the news, other institutional attempts at eradication of the evil of corruption in cricket have and continue to do their bit.

The ICCs ASCU is one example of such an organization but the one that made headlines in its day for its bold approach to facing this once taboo subject was a one man judicial commission headed by Mr. Justice Malik Muhammad Qayyum. Tasked with a difficult remit to probe and unmask instances of “match fixing” and to identify its perpetrators, the commission began its work in 1998 and took nearly 2 years to reach its conclusions. During this period, over 55 witnesses recorded their testimony including some famous players and journalists. The commission delivered its finding in April 2000 to the then Chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), General Tauqir Zia.

The commission’s findings were to prove an eye opener for those who had hitherto ignored allegations of corruption in Cricket as a “nasty” rumour used to undermine Pakistan’s progress in the world of cricket. For the first time, Pakistani cricketers were put to the sword for their conduct and the world of cricket shown that Pakistan could recognize and take care of corruption on its own. Salim Malik was found guilty of “match” fixing and banned for life. Other major names of Pakistan cricket handed hefty fines and some damning written indictments including recommendations to remove them from all forms of cricket.

Gen. Tauqir Zia’s name, thus, became forever associated with The Qayyum report as he was presented with the unenviable task of implementing its many findings – some of which were politically contentious. History and historians may well judge him differently, but speaking in an exclusive interview with PakPassion.net, the Ex Chairman of PCB defended his actions in response to The Qayyum Report and credited his tenure with the near eradication of the “match” fixing phenomena from Pakistani cricket.

Given the gravity of the recommendations made by the commission, it has always troubled observers of Pakistani cricket as to why no firm actions were taken to implement these during Zia’s tenure as Chairman. In his defence, Zia stated the lack of “bench strength” as the prime reason for the delay

“The first time I thought of removing the players was when I initially took over and when there was the Qayyum Commission Report. I took over in December 1999 and the Qayyum Report came to me in April-May 2000. So I had just spent about 4-5 months by then. When I looked at the report, I thought of removing the offending players from Pakistan cricket. I went to the President of Pakistan to say “look, I do not know much about Pakistan cricket because I’ve just worked there for three or four months. If you ask me, I’d like to get rid of all these characters.” The practical man that he was, he asked ‘do you have the backup squad?’ At that time, I didn’t have a backup squad so most of them were called straight back. But since there was also only suspicion on some of those players, they were not proven. “

The publication of the Qayyum report, as commendable as it seemed, was a step in the right direction but it was by no means an end to itself. The Report demanded action to protect the future of Pakistani cricket, specifically stating “To suggest measures to avoid any future incidence”. Surely, if the recommendations of the report had been followed to the letter and its spirit respected by the administrators of the game then the future of the game was undeniably in safe hands. Almost a decade later, this utopian notion was blown to bits when video evidence of Pakistani cricketers accepting bribes were flashed around on TV screens around the world. ECBs verdict on Kaneria further emphasised the lack of progress almost 12 years after the publication of the Qayyum Report.

In retrospect, it could be argued that harsher punishments for players named in the Report could have set the right precedents for all future generations of Pakistani cricketers. For his part, Gen. Tauqir Zia does not accept that his administration was lax in its implementation of the Commission’s findings. He argued that the menace of “match” fixing as identified by the Report had been dealt with effectively by his regime and the current nature of corruption (spot/fancy fixing) was a newer challenge requiring a different approach by the authorities

Tauqir added “There are two things about it. Firstly, there was only suspicion – there was nothing concrete about any player. All the recommendations and leniency were shown by the commission, not by the cricket board. The fact is that 100 per cent of the recommendations of the Qayyum Commission – I would say 99.9 per cent – were implemented. One recommendation that was not implemented was that they had suggested that at least three people should visit with the team and look after the security aspect. At that particular point in time, the ICC had already made the anti-corruption unit with Lord Condon as their boss, so there was no point in getting on with it. Therefore, hundred per cent of the recommendations were implemented.

Secondly, as far as 2010 is concerned, do you know the difference between 1994/5? Match fixing, sport fixing and fancy fixing. Today, I do not think you really have many examples of match-fixing but you do have examples of spot-fixing or fancy fixing. So Amir, Asif and Salman Butt are actually involved in fancy fixing and not in match-fixing. If an agreed no-ball results in a loss, then that is a separate point.

I personally feel that its difficult to control "fancy fixing", but if you educate your boys and have proper monitoring and supervision, we can reduce it quite a bit.”
 
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Many of the players however were past their prime - we saw an ageing squad in the 2003 World Cup get knocked out of the group stages. Not only should have stiff sentences been imposed on the corrupt players in order to send a message to future players but it could have been an opportunity to blood in younger players. The period of 2000-2003 was desperate for Pakistan cricket as we were in serious decline. Waqar Younis was getting smashed all over the park, Shoaib Akhtar was not as effective - Wasim Akram was still carrying the bowling attack but his internal politicking was hugely damaging. Saqlain was past his peak.

In the end it took a disastrous 2003 World Cup for us to have finally started the rebuilding process and the seniors were kicked out.
 
“The first time I thought of removing the players was when I initially took over and when there was the Qayyum Commission Report. I took over in December 1999 and the Qayyum Report came to me in April-May 2000. So I had just spent about 4-5 months by then. When I looked at the report, I thought of removing the offending players from Pakistan cricket. I went to the President of Pakistan to say “look, I do not know much about Pakistan cricket because I’ve just worked there for three or four months. If you ask me, I’d like to get rid of all these characters.” The practical man that he was, he asked ‘do you have the backup squad?’ At that time, I didn’t have a backup squad so most of them were called straight back. But since there was also only suspicion on some of those players, they were not proven. “

Mr. Zia should be prosecuted for not taking any actions, it is unbelievable that they even considered bench strength before making a decision!
 
And Pakistan cricket has gone a bit downhill since. Yes, there were small peaks but players alwyas knew they could get away with stuff as long as they were talneted and it took another country to catch some people who fixed. Saddest thing of all was that someone like Amir got sucked into the mess
 
You don't really have to go as far back as in 1999, very recently you had all the chances to set things straight but failed to do so. Instead of punishing the likes of Amir, Asif and Butt yourself, you let the British do it which only brought embarrassment to Pakistan Cricket.

Anyway you can forget even the spot fixing incident now. Past is past. Hopefully PCB will show balls in future in dealing with corruption with the iron fist.
 
When Azhar,Jadeja,Nayan Mongia..all very integral part of our team left....we got Yuvraj,kaif,ganguly as captain...and more spirited indian side which went to be a great side at home and challenge teams away..and even win at places.

I am sure , pakistan could have easily found great replacements for wasim,wagar...for the cricketing nation it is..sure it could have taken a while to find replacements for all...like we had to change a dozen keepers after mongia for 4 yrs till we got dhoni...


atleast you will have clean side....and a spirited one...trying to gain back the confidence of the fans...which i do not think wasim and co had even after caught..
 
I was a big Jadeja fanboy back then and was quite upset with him being banned. :( Bad days. Azhar was in hot form.
 
I was a big Jadeja fanboy back then and was quite upset with him being banned. :( Bad days. Azhar was in hot form.
Jadeja at that time was the "finisher" in ODI , so it was a huge shock. Azhar was past his prime anyway.
 
Jadeja at that time was the "finisher" in ODI , so it was a huge shock. Azhar was past his prime anyway.

Far from it. He was our best batsman in the 2 test series against South Africa hitting hundreds in both tests. Being one of the fittest memebrs in the side, he could have easily played on for a couple of years.
 
Mr. Zia should be prosecuted for not taking any actions, it is unbelievable that they even considered bench strength before making a decision!
It was all allegation then. Nothing concrete.Put yourself in to his shoes. At least he wanted to get rid of everyone. Most wouldn't even pick up the report.
 
It was all allegation then. Nothing concrete.Put yourself in to his shoes. At least he wanted to get rid of everyone. Most wouldn't even pick up the report.
His statement is ridiculous, had he said we didnt take any action because it was all allegation then it was fair enough but if he is saying we didnt do much because we didnt had bench strength is definitely sinister!
 
The spot fixing scandal would never have happened if we made a strong example of the W's

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Worth bumping this thread up with Saleem Malik in the news again today.
 
And Pakistan cricket has gone a bit downhill since. Yes, there were small peaks but players alwyas knew they could get away with stuff as long as they were talneted and it took another country to catch some people who fixed. Saddest thing of all was that someone like Amir got sucked into the mess

this post brings tears to my eyes!

You can never expect good results from corrupt people :rashid
 
The then chairman didnt have the guts to put the 2 W's away. We have paid a big price for that decision in the long run by losing Asif and Amir.
 
^The 2 Ws only? Over half the team was corrupt. They should have punished everyone. And had they done that, Amir would be demolishing sides right now
 
very easy to say they should have done this or that / given life bans to the accused, but like it says in the article there was only suspicion, no evidence.

if anything they perhaps should have given short-term bans rather than just fines for them, that would have been enough of a 'deterrent' IMO.
 
wait why is everyone acting like the W's were "CONVICTED?" there were accusations and some suspicion.. that doesn't paramount to them having done it for sure.
 
Yea well versus Wasim and Waqar, and Asif and Amir I'm happy that Wasim and Waqar were forgiven as they were more enjoyable to watch (well at least Wasim was, Waqar not so much after mid 90s). Not saying they should have been forgiven but compared to the two groups I would rather have Asif and Amir set the example.
 
very easy to say they should have done this or that / given life bans to the accused, but like it says in the article there was only suspicion, no evidence.

if anything they perhaps should have given short-term bans rather than just fines for them, that would have been enough of a 'deterrent' IMO.

Ata-ur-Rehman gave testimony against Wasim Akram and this would have led to Akram getting the ban but Ata changed his testimony.
 
and we are paying the price for that now

if i'm not mistaken, justice qayyum came out with a statement during the spot fixing scandal that he didn't ban akram because he was fond of him as a cricketer and did not want to tarnish his image or words to this effect
 
Ata-Ul-Reham wasted his entire career on 1 statement. He could have led the attack in the early stages of 2000.
 
Guys - we need to be VERY Careful when we take any names in here. All accusations need to be backed up by solid evidence or all of us open ourselves to libel suits etc

Posts have now been deleted
 
^ Yep. The overwhelming urgency being shown for aamir def proves it.
 
I was made scapegoat.
Atta ur Rehman cries in Live News Bulletin.
He says He is writing a book and will come in Live Tv Show aswell and will tell all. Expose all.

He says He was banned for changing statement and there was a reason for changing statement but ICC overturned his Life Ban after hearing his Appeal.

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