Pakistan’s top diplomat in the UK Wajid Shamsul Hasan has termed the role of International Cricket Council as ‘arbitrary and biased’ in reaction to the governing body’s diatribe against three Pakistan cricketers who have been suspended for their alleged role in betting scam during the last week’s Lord’s Test against England.
In a statement issued here last night, he said: “I have heard the press briefing on the ongoing cricket controversy by two ICC Representatives today. I have also learnt that ICC has taken cricketer Muhammad Aamer’s name off from the list of ‘Players of the Year.’ What happened to the general principle of law ‘innocent until proven guilty.’
‘After the shocking, arbitrary and high-handed suspension of the three Pakistani cricketers through the ICC’s uncalled for action, nothing is coming to me as a surprise.
Rather, my apprehensions that there is a rat in the whole affair are being strengthened. It is emerging as a fishy situation where pieces have now started falling in place to convince me that there is more than meet the eyes.
“As I said in my Thursday’s statement that after the request by the three players to PCB, through me, for their voluntary withdrawal from playing in the current tour until their names have been cleared and their honour vindicated, ICC’s action was not only in a bad taste but was also self-serving, mala fide and intriguingly sinister.
“I would rather add that ICC’s hasty decision was aimed at covering up its own acts of omission and commission. Its notice to the players appears to have been aimed at influencing the legal process and to prejudice the ongoing police investigation. In contrast, Pakistan side has fully cooperated with the police in their inquiry and this cooperation would continue.
“The public declaration by ICC officials that there is a co-operation between ICC and the police under some protocol signed after the incident is strange. It is also strange that as per the ICC official’s account, the police had shared evidence with ICC while ICC conducted its own investigations. This, in our view, constitutes a breach of trust and the PCB being an aggrieved party would be justified to consider the sharing of information between the ICC and the police as prejudicial to the interests of the Pakistani players.
“In the interest of justice and fair play and in order to protect and respect the rights of the players no other investigation should be started until the British police, who have primacy in the matter, have completed their investigation.”