IPL: Indian Premier League 2009

Inquiry report confidential, says PCB


A day after carrying out the most comprehensive player cull in Pakistan cricket in recent memory, the PCB remains tight-lipped about the nature of charges laid against senior players and the procedure followed in punishing them.

Seven senior players were punished by the board following an inquiry committee report into a disastrous tour of Australia. Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan and Shoaib Malik were handed bans, while the Akmal brothers and Shahid Afridi were handed fines.

But concerns have been raised about the legal process followed in handing out the punishments and the lack of information on the charges. Calls have been made to make the complete report of the inquiry committee public but the board is unwilling to do so.

“It is a confidential report and not one for public consumption,” Ijaz Butt, chairman PCB, told Cricinfo. “If a certain level of people ask we will give them, but essentially this is a confidential report.”

Butt insisted, however, that the committee – the composition of which has also been criticised – had carried out its objectives fairly. “We have given everyone a fair hearing,” he said. “The committee has spoken to many people, almost all of those concerned, we have collected evidence, everything has been done properly and all of it is documented and is available. It was a very thorough and comprehensive report. We have given details in the press release.”

Butt was unwilling to comment on individual charges, such as the one-year ban on Naved, who had no previous disciplinary transgressions, or the nature of charges against Younis, Yousuf and Malik. Because of the lack of details, there remain concerns that the punishments are of an arbitrary and inconsistent nature. But the board says the players were punished not under the code of conduct that governs central contracts, but under the “inherent powers” of the board.

“The punishments are not given under the central contracts code of conduct,” Taffazul Rizvi, the board’s legal advisor and a member of the six-man inquiry committee, told Cricinfo. “These are under the inherent powers of the PCB. The disciplinary policy of the board applies to all players who play for Pakistan, not just those on central contracts and that’s what has taken effect here.”

The players can appeal against the punishments, Rizvi confirmed, though he clarified that is not a right the board gives, but an intrinsic right of the punished in any matter. “That is their fundamental right, it isn’t the board’s to give.” None of the players has yet issued a public response.

Those who have criticised the PCB have also asked why no action has been taken against the board hierarchy or whether any will. Butt’s response was only that “some action has already been taken.”

Source:Cricket News

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