Court lifts Malik life ban

2008-10-23 11:46

Pakistan - Former Pakistan test captain Salim Malik is free to resume his involvement in cricket after a Pakistan court lifted his life ban on Thursday.

"I have served cricket for 19 years and today I feel vindicated," 45-year-old Malik told reporters outside session court in the eastern city of Lahore.

Civil judge Malik Mohammad Altaf ruled in favour of Malik and quashed the ban imposed for match fixing.

The Pakistan Cricket Board put a life ban on Malik's involvement in the game after a PCB-appointed inquiry - beginning in 1999 and ending in 2000 - implicated him in fixing international matches.

Australian players Shane Warne, Mark Waugh and Tim May accused Malik of offering them bribes to underperform during their tour of Pakistan in 1994.

Two lower courts earlier refused to hear Malik's appeal, but a three-judge panel of the Supreme Court in May directed a court in Lahore to record evidence and reach a verdict.

"I want to make a cricket academy for youngsters and will soon start the project," Malik said.

The PCB legal adviser Tafazzul Rizvi said the board will honour Thursday's court ruling.

"PCB did not impose the ban, we just implemented the recommendations of inquiry tribunal," Rizvi said.

"We will honour the decision of session court and will not file an appeal against the ruling."

Malik said that he had got an offer to play in the Indian Cricket League, the non-sanctioned Twenty20 competition run by former India captain Kapil Dev.

"He (Kapil) has offered me to play in the Indian Cricket League, but I don't think so I can play competitive cricket after staying out from it for the last eight-nine years," Malik said.

Despite his life ban, Malik said he had twice met new PCB chairperson Ijaz Butt since he was appointed to the position earlier this month.

"I had two meetings with Mr. Butt and if I am given an opportunity to serve Pakistan cricket in any capacity, I am more than willing to do that," Malik said.

Former Pakistan paceman Ata-ur-Rehman was among those who gave evidence to the 1999-2000 PCB inquiry about the prevalence of match-fixing by his Pakistan teammates. He later retracted his comments, prompting the inquiry judge to warn him against committing perjury.

Rehman also received a life ban from cricket for match fixing, but that was revoked by the International Cricket Council in 2006.

Malik played 103 tests and 263 one-day internationals between 1981 and 1999. He captained the team in 12 tests and 34 one-day games.


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