Monthly Archives: September 2013

Kaneria hits back, terms Westfield’s statement “bundle of lies”

Muhammad Asif Khan

 

KARACHI: The banned Pakistani leg-spinner Danish Kaneria, who has been striving to clear his name in the spot-fixing scandal, expressed surprise over the latest statement by Mervyn Westfield and termed it a “bundle of lies” which, according to Kaneria, are contradictory to his previous testimonies before the Essex police and the Disciplinary Panel. “Upon inquiry, during the police interview, Westfield categorically denied to have been approached by me. Later the disciplinary panel labeled him as a “devious”. As a matter of fact, Westfield has constantly lied, to the Police, to his team mates, to Essex Cricket Club, to the Judge in the criminal case, to the ECB and to both the Panels which heard our case”, maintained Danish Kaneria, while talking to this correspondent for News One TV.Image

 

Kaneria said during the sentence hearing for mitigation, even the Judge wasn’t impressed with Westfield’s plea and passed stern remarks. “I accept pleading guilty, I have grave doubts whether even now you are really showing the great remorse which your counsel is showing”, added Kaneria, while quoting the Judge.

 

In the interview earlier this month, Westfield stated, “We were at his house and he [Kaneria] asked if he could speak to me outside. That is when he started to first talk about it. He [Kaneria] said it is hard for young players to get money in cricket these days. That was how conversation started”.

 

Challenging this claim, Danish Kaneria termed it a blatant lie, adding that Westfield had a history of issuing inconsistence statements. “In his witness statements and during cross-examinations, he stated that the conversation took place at a house. Factually, when a person lies, his statements vary”, claimed Kaneria, who has 261 wickets to his credit in 61 Test matches for Pakistan.

 

“In the video, he relied on his statement which I successfully challenged and highlighted that his story was not supported with any evidences, hence I have filed an appeal at the Commercial Court in London”, said Kaneria, who played the last Test match for Pakistan in 2010.

 

Danish Kaneria, 32, hoped that the honourable Commercial Court Judge would not be influenced by Mervyn Westfield’s video statement and would deal with the matter in a fair and just manner.

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Caretaker Sethi seeks powers through BoG: SOURCES

By Muhammad Asif Khan

The caretaker chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Najam Sethi, on one hand, desires to take the Pakistan Cricket to the next level however the pending court cases against the PCB, on the other hand, curtails his horizon.Image

To tackle the situation, the caretaker chairman has now sought the help of the Board of Governors (BoG).

A well placed source further revealed that during the recent meeting between Najam Sethi and former office bearers of a few regions the Caretaker Chairman was presented with a proposal, according to which, court cases against the PCB, at the Islamabad High Court (IHC), would be withdrawn if the PCB would disband the interim committees on various regions.

The source added that Najam Sethi is willing to dissolve the regional interim committees as he [Sethi] feels it would help him to carry out elections and appoint elected bodies in those regions. This action, Mr. Sethi believes, will also aid in the case pending at the Islamabad High Court.

The source said that the caretaker chairman also wanted to appoint a panel of three honorary advisers to assist him in dealing with various issues face up to the regions and districts.

This is worth mentioning here that the Islamabad High Court, while describing Najam Sethi as the caretaker PCB chairman, directed him to hold elections within 90 days.

Clarke was not shown the whole picture: Arif Abbasi

Muhammad Asif Khan

KARACHI: The former Chief Executive of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) partially agreed to Giles Clarke however felt that the chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) was not provided with the whole picture of the state of cricket affairs in Pakistan. “This was the statement which was sought and it was given. He [Clarke] responded to the limited information provided to him”, said Arif Abbasi while talking to this correspondent for News One TV. Image

Earlier in an interview Giles Clarke warned against judicial system derailing the improvement achieved with the help of the game’s governing body — the International Cricket Council (ICC).

“PCB must be allowed to manage its [day-to-day] affairs independently,” Clarke told a local newspaper.

Clarke expressed these views after meeting with the caretaker PCB chairman, Najam Sethi in London on Wednesday.

Arif Abbasi, on the other hand, termed it a bid to influence the court, adding that Clarke was of this view because “he had not been shown the whole picture.”

“The court interfered when Zaka Ashraf was the chairman then why can’t it intervene now. Clarke’s statement is not going to make any difference, after all there is a judgment, and they [PCB] should take it seriously”, said Abbasi who held the post of the Chief Executive at BCCP [now PCB] between 1994 and 1996.

“By the way why are you allowing somebody to get involved in your internal affairs, you should never do that. A judgment can only be contested in a court of law”, maintained Abbasi

The Islamabad High Court (IHC), while acting on a petition, removed Zaka Ashraf as the PCB chairman and later the Government appointed Najam Sethi as the acting chairman. The court moved in again to curtail Sethi’s mandate by instructing him to hold fresh elections in 90 days.

“This was born out of the fact that the court was not briefed properly. Had the judge been properly briefed that would not have happened. The PCB constitution has answer to such situation.” noted Arif Abbasi.

Arif Abbasi also urged the incumbent PCB management to focus on fresh elections by taking the General Body on board, adding that the current state of affairs was ‘confusing’ and everybody, he feels, trying to take advantage of it. “This is all confusing and everybody is trying to take advantage of the confusion in an improper place, the place is the court of law, that’s all”, concludes Arif Abbasi

Rana Mujahid hopes to win secretary’s slot in PHF election

Muhammad Asif Khan

KARACHI: Recently appointed secretary of the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF), Rana Mujahid Ali has expressed the hope that he would win the same post in the upcoming PHF elections as well. “I will contest for the same post [secretary] in the upcoming election, and will hopefully win it for the next term as well”, said Rana Mujahid while talking to this correspondent for News One TV. Image

Rana Mujahid was previously working as the Associate Secretary however, the executive board of the PHF appointed him in place of Asif Bajwa, who stepped down as Secretary, on Wednesday.

Rana Mujahid also brushed aside the continuous criticism from a section of former Olympians which demand the imposition of an ad-hoc setup on the PHF. “Ad-hoc isn’t a democratic way of dealing with things. The well-wishers of Hockey should do it in a constitutional and democratic manner”, said Rana Mujahid.

“Contest the elections and acquire a position of their liking”, said Rana Mujahid while referring to the former Olympians.

“I have always wanted to seek guidance from former greats and even today my doors are open for their valuable suggestions”, added Rana Mujhahid

Former greats Islahuddin, Samiullah, Shehnaz Sheikh, Qamar Zia, Waseem Feroz, Qamar Ibrahim and a lot of other former players have come down hard on the PHF management after the national team’s ouster from the World Cup, and have urged the imposition of an ad-hoc setup on the PHF.

The Pakistan National hockey has not been able to qualify for the next year World Cup, for the first time in history, after failing to win the recently concluded Asia Cup in Malaysia.

Arif Abbasi smells rat in PCB’s TV rights deal

Muhammad Asif Khan

KARACHI: Former Chief Executive of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Arif Ali Khan Abbasi has raised questions over the two separate broadcast deals recently finalised by the Pakistan Cricket Board. “Splitting the bid makes no sense to me. It might be a profitable venture but will remain vague until the details are made public”, said Arif Abbasi while talking to this correspondent for News One TV.Image

“The process also shows the weakness of the PCB’s marketing department which failed to attract international bidders”, added Abbasi.

Abbasi also felt that the companies would feel difficulty in carrying out an effective campaign for their respective share. “When one broadcaster would start marketing, and when the other one would begin the same process. It’s pretty confusing for me to figure out”, said Abbasi who held the post of the chief executive at BCCP [now PCB] between 1994 and 1996.

Pakistan Cricket Board, on Friday, concluded the process of sale of media broadcasting rights for the Pakistan Vs South Africa series (October-November 2013) and Pakistan Vs Sri Lanka Series (December 2013-January 2014).

Dubai based TEN Sports bagged the rights for Pakistan Vs South Africa while Pakistan’s GEO Super was awarded the broadcasting rights for the Pakistan Vs Sri Lanka series.

“Two bidders participated in the bidding process. The Financial Bids of both were evaluated in accordance with the terms of the Invitation to Tender”. PCB statement said.

Arif Abbasi added that hiring the services of Ehsan Mani was indicative of the fact that the PCB lacked ‘competence’ within. “Awarding a contract to an inexperienced broadcaster says it all. Ehsan Mani is an internationally renowned individual yet no international company, apart from TEN, took interest in the process, then what was the purpose of having him [Mani]”, asked Abbasi

“The PCB should make all the relevant details public to clarify the ambiguities”, concludes Arif Abbasi.

ICC lacks proactive approach to DRS: Ehsan Mani

Muhammad Asif Khan

KARACHI: The former president of the International Cricket Council (ICC), Ehsan Mani, while backing the existing Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS), stated that the system would get further improved with time and appropriate measures. “With the help of the UDRS, the accuracy has jumped up to 95%. There are minor issues, which needs to be taken care of adequately”, said Ehsan Mani, while talking to this correspondent for News One TV. Image

“I am not entirely satisfied with the existing UDRS, but it should not be stopped. The ICC should act proactively to improve it further”, added Mani.

On a  question, Ehsan Mani admitted that installing a top-class DRS, with all the components, was a costly business however, added that the game of cricket was generating a lot of money therefore expenditure on it’s quality should not be compromised.

On BCCI’s reservations on the UDRS, Ehsan Mani described it as ICC’s ‘weakness’.

“The ICC should not leave it to the member countries, instead it [ICC] should formulate a mechanism for the uniform usage of this technology [DRS]. The ICC should take charge, via financing and other measures, rather then leaving it on to the boards.” concludes Ehsan Mani.