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Pakistan accused of throwing games
Politician says ICC Champions Trophy defeats were to make sure India got knocked out.
Last Modified: 06 Oct 2009 14:07 GMT

Shahid Afridi loses his wicket against the Kiwis [AFP]
Pakistan's cricketers have come under an astonishing attack from a member of parliament – who has accused them of throwing their ICC Champions Trophy matches "to stop India from winning".

Jamshed Disti, the chairman of the Standing Committee on Sports in the Pakistani lower house, has demanded an explanation from captain Younus Khan.

Younus said on Monday that he will be haunted after dropping a catch in the semi-final defeat to New Zealand in South Africa.

But a day later in Islamabad, Dasti was threatening to haul the squad and chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board before his committee.

'Deliberately lost'

"We will be meeting with them on Octo 13 as we feel the team deliberately lost the games against Australia and New Zealand," Dasti said on Tuesday.

Pakistan were defeated by eventual winners Australia in the last group match last week before losing to New Zealand in the semi-final.

"They lost to Australia just to keep India out of the tournament," Dasti said.

Australia might not have qualified for the semi-final had Pakistan won against the defending champions and India could have advanced had they defeated West Indies by a big margin.

"There are lots of doubts on the performance of the team and we feel it has to be cleared by the PCB officials and the team management," Dasti said.

"The way we lost in the semi-final, it has left the whole nation disappointed and the PCB has to give answers."

Pakistan coach Intikhab Alam and captain Younus returned home on Monday, while PCB chairman Ijaz Butt remained in South Africa to attend International Cricket Council meetings.

It is not the first time that the parliamentary committee has summoned PCB officials – but it only has the power to give recommendations to the prime minister and the president.

'Due considerations'

"This time I can assure you that we will make sure our recommendations be given due considerations," Dasti said.

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari is the patron-in-chief of the PCB.

A PCB spokesman defended the team's performances, and said the cricket board had not yet received any formal invitation to appear before the committee.

"So far, we have not received anything in writing from Mr Dasti that we have to appear before the committee on October 13," said Nadeem Sarwar, PCB's general manager of media.

"The Pakistan team did very well and qualified for the semi-final.

"The match against Australia was decided on the very last ball and, had there not been few glitches in the semi-final against New Zealand, we would have played in the final."

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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