Islamabad: Fixing claims seem to have returned to mar Pakistan cricket. Former captain Aamer Sohail has vaguely accused the team of making it to the final of the ICC Champions Trophy on the basis of “external forces”. During an interview to a Pakistan news channel, the former opener has said that the team should not be flying too high, because if they’re in the final, it’s because “they were supposed to”.
“We will congratulate you when you play well but we’ll also criticise you when you don’t. They [Pakistan team] should not be flying too high on their success at the moment because we know that they’ve been ‘brought’ to this position”, Sohail said.
After a dismal show against India in the Group B match, Pakistan scripted a terrific turnaround and went on to beat Sri Lanka, South Africa, and then England in the first semi-final on Monday. India then beat Bangladesh to set up a mouth-watering final against their arch-rivals.
Sohail however, did not say anything beyond that, something that has left everyone puzzled. What was interesting to notice was that sharing the screen space with Sohail was Pakistan great Javed Miandad, who did not counter the claims of his former team-mate.
Atul Wassan, former India cricketer and a common figure as an analysit, ridiculed Sohail’s claims saying that “Such incomplete statements” mean nothing. However, considering Pakistan’s history in fixing, the claims cannot be entirely ruled out. Three of their players – Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt – were guilty of match-fixing during the 2010 tour of England and were penalised accordingly.
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.