PCB's failure to take action 'forced' ICC to suspend players: Former selectors

      The failure of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to take action against the three players accused of 'spot-fixing' forced the International Cricket Council (ICC) to intervene by suspending them, former selectors have said. The ICC provisionally suspended captain Salman Butt and fast bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir from international matches, despite the fact that they claimed to be innocent. "The ICC has suspended the Pakistan players because the Pakistan Cricket Board showed reluctance in acting itself," The Daily Times quoted Iqbal Qasim, former chief selector, as saying. "In fact the statements from Pakistani officials that no players would be suspended forced the ICC to take action," "That players were free to play was not acceptable to the England board and to the ICC, because had these players played in more matches, there would have been reaction from England players and fans," he added. Another former chief selector, Salahuddin Ahmed, said that the board should have stepped in before the governing body took action. "The PCB should have suspended the players after Sunday's report in the newspaper, because these players would never have been in the right frame of mind after all those allegations," Ahmed said. "We haven't seen anything from PCB chairman Ijaz Butt, and manager Yawar Saeed is unable to answer any question asked to him by the media, so all this ineptitude is coming from the PCB and its officials." He added. Earlier, the ICC had said that the three players were provisionally suspended pending a decision on the charges. "In accordance with the provisions of the code, this means they are immediately barred from participating in all cricket and related activities until the case has been concluded," the ICC had said in a statement. The Pakistan team is in the midst of a betting scam, where fast bowlers Amir and Asif are alleged to have bowled pre-arranged no-balls in the Lord's Test, which England won by an innings and 225 runs. British tabloid The News of the World has claimed that the cricketers were part of a 150,000-pound betting scam with Butt and London-based agent Mazhar Majeed.

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