PCB to take legal action against elements accusing team of match fixing

Pakistan’s early exit from the T20 World Cup 2024 has sparked widespread criticism and controversy, confining the team to the first round after unexpected losses to the USA and India. The defeats left fans significantly upset, particularly the loss to the inexperienced host team and a narrow defeat against their traditional rival.

Despite victories against Canada and Ireland, Pakistan’s performance was deemed insufficient, leading to a wave of criticism from former players and a flood of angry reactions on social media. Allegations of match-fixing have exacerbated the situation, further troubling the national cricketers.

Sources indicate that some YouTubers and journalists have recently discussed these allegations, which have also been highlighted by Indian media. However, team sources assert that there is no evidence of any player being involved in negative activities in the USA. ICC anti-corruption officials and the team’s security manager maintained vigilant oversight throughout the tournament.

Current team members, including key players Babar Azam, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Rizwan, and Shadab Khan, have maintained clean records, and no reports suggest their involvement in any misconduct. Addressing the situation, PCB sources stated, “We are fully aware of these negative comments. Criticism within the bounds of the game is acceptable and there is no objection to it. However, baseless allegations like match-fixing cannot be tolerated under any circumstances.”

Regarding potential investigations, PCB sources remarked, “PCB has no doubts, so why should we conduct an inquiry? Those who made the allegations should provide proof. We have instructed our legal department to issue notices to such individuals and demand evidence. If not provided, we will seek compensation for defamation. A new law in Punjab ensures that a decision will come within six months.”

Adding to the team’s woes, an unpleasant incident involving Haris Rauf heightened security concerns among the players. They fear facing similar behaviour when out with their families, prompting some cricketers, including Babar Azam, to hesitate in returning to the country immediately. The PCB has assured the team of complete protection and urged players to report any issues promptly.

Team sources reveal that a hostile environment has been created by social media, certain TV channel experts, and a few YouTubers, making players afraid to go out. The PCB’s commitment to the players’ security aims to alleviate these fears and provide a safer environment for them and their families.

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