Pak team complained about Indian bookies' presence in hotel

The Pakistan team management in SL had lodged an official complaint with the hotel management in Colombo over the presence of suspected Indian bookmers.

updated: July 29, 2009 14:16 IST
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The Pakistan team management in Sri Lanka had lodged an official complaint with the hotel management in Colombo over the presence of suspected Indian bookmakers on the same floor as the players.

"The Express" newspaper reported on Wednesday that the Indian nationals, suspected to be bookmakers from Mumbai, had made approaches to several Pakistani players during the Test series in Colombo while staying on the same floor as the players at the Taj Samundra hotel.

The newspaper quoted Pakistan manager, Yawar Saeed, as confirming the incident.

"Yes, I had lodged a complaint with the hotel management over the presence of the Indian nationals on the same floor as our team. After that the management changed the floor of our players rooms," Yawar said.

He said he had acted after receiving complaints from some players that they were being pestered by the Indian nationals at the hotel.

"The Pakistan board is very particular against having suspicious individuals mingling or even being close to the players during home or away tours," Saeed said.

The Taj hotel in Colombo was said to be the centre stage for match fixing in cricket when Pakistan toured Sri Lanka in 1994 and it featured prominently in the match-fixing investigations carried out by the judicial commission in Pakistan and by the International Cricket Council anti-corruption sleuths.

During the Justice Malik Qayyum judicial inquiry held in Pakistan, which led to a life ban on former captain Salim Malik and fines on five other players in 2000, board officials and some players had confirmed that it was at the same hotel in 1994 that the Indian and Pakistani bookmakers had established links with Pakistani players during a four-nation one-day tournament.

Some players also confirmed to the newspaper that the Indian nationals had been calling them up and trying to approach them in their rooms which is why they complained to their manager.

Two years back a lot of hue and cry was raised when the ICC sent some of its anti- corruption officials to Lahore to speak to present Pakistan captain Younis Khan and some other players regarding their links with an Indian national who was with them on some foreign tours and in India.

The Pakistan team will play a five match one-day series with Sri Lanka in Dambulla from Thursday.