NewDelhi, June 16: Fixing claims seem to have returned to mar Pakistan cricket. The match-fixing scandal has apparently come back to haunt the Pakistan cricket team. Former skipper Aamer Sohail has indirectly accused the entire team of fixing matches as they qualified for the final of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 after beating England in the semi-final in Cardiff on Wednesday.
Speaking on a Pakistan TV news channel, Sohail said that ‘external factors’ were behind Pakistan’s progress to the final where they will play India at The Oval on June 18. In a panel that also included former captain and coach Javed Miandad, Sohail said, “Sarfraz needs to be told that you have not done anything great. Someone has helped you win the game. There is no reason for you (Sarfraz) to be so happy. We all know what happens behind the scenes. Don’t wish to get into the details on who won them the games. If asked, I will say that the prayers of the fans and God have won them the games.”
However, Sohail later on clarified that he was misquoted and that he wished that Pakistan play their best cricket on Sunday.
Atul Wassan, former India cricketer and a common figure as an analyst, ridiculed Sohail’s claims saying that “Such incomplete statements” mean nothing.
This is not the first time that Pakistan cricket has been caught in the match-fixing scandal. In 2010, Mohammad Asif, Mohammad Amir and then skipper Salman Butt were convicted for spot-fixing in the Lord’s Test against England and were penalised accordingly. In the 2017 Pakistan Super League, the likes of Sharjeel Khan, Khalid Latif, Mohammad Irfan, Shahzaib Hasan and Nasir Jamshed from playing any form of cricket for violating the anti-corruption code.
It has also been widely claimed over the years that crime lord and underworld don Dawood Ibrahim had a role in determining the outcomes of Pakistan’s matches in the late 80s and early 90s.
Pakistan has entered the final of the tournament for the first time. After losing heavily to India in Edgbaston, they bounced back with tense wins over South Africa and Sri Lanka. However, they stunned the cricketing world by defeating England by a heavy margin in Cardiff. Sarfraz’s side will be aiming to break their India jinx in ICC events as they look to seal the Champions Trophy for the first time.