Akhtar may be in trouble with ICC

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/s/shoaibakhtar5.jpg' class='caption'> The banned fast bowler could be in further trouble for not reporting to the ICC the alleged incidents of being approached by bookies.

Updated: April 15, 2008 12:23 IST
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New Delhi:

Shoaib Akhtar's claims about being approached by match fixers in India and South Africa may land the banned pacer in another tight spot for not reporting these instances to his team management as required by the ICC Code of Conduct.

Akhtar, in an emotional outburst during a television talk show on Wednesday, alleged that some people had approached him to under-perform in Johannesburg and India but he had turned down their offer for the sake of his country.

"I turned down these offers because I can't betray my country. Does this not show how committed and disciplined I am towards my team and country," he said while terming the five-year ban imposed on him for disciplinary violations as unjustified.

The claim could land him in further trouble as the updated ICC Code of Conduct requires an active international player to report immediately any such approach/incident to the captain, team manager, cricket board or anti-corruption unit officers of the ICC.

The ICC Code of Conduct clearly outlines a minimum ban of one year and maximum five years for any individual who fails to disclose such approaches to his captain or to his team manager or to a senior board official or to the ACU and security unit.

Apparently Akhtar did not report these instances with team manager Talat Ali, who said he was not informed of any such approach by the maverick pacer on the recent tour of India.

"No, I was not informed about any such incident by anyone in India," Ali, who was the manager on last year's tour of India, told PTI.

If the ICC decides to pursue his allegations than Akhtar faces a potentially serious situation with the governing body for not reporting match fixing approaches to the concerned authorities or for not being able to substantiate his claims.

A spokesman of the ICC confirmed that anti-corruption officers were planning to talk to Akhtar about his claims.

"The ICC has a zero tolerance policy on corruption of any sort in sports and we are well aware of the comments made by Shoaib Akhtar," he said.

"The ACU officers would like to talk to him soon about this matter," he added.

Sources said the ACU might quiz the fast bowler soon while information was also being obtained from the PCB whether they were aware of any approaches made to Akhtar in recent times.

Akhtar, who was banned for five years by the PCB on Tuesday for disciplinary reasons, said he was angry at the suspension because he had always remained committed to his country.

Pakistan was in the forefront of the match fixing scandal years ago and a judicial inquiry commission in 2000 banned former captain Salim Malik for life and fined five other players.

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