Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ijaz Butt told a parliamentary committee Monday he would review penalties handed to several players, and scrap evidence from leaked video footage. Butt told a lower house standing committee of sports that he would assess the penalties after arbitrator Irfan Qadir finished hearing appeals from players and submitted his findings with the PCB. Six players have appealed to the arbitrator against suspensions and fines imposed by the PCB following an inquiry into Pakistan's woeful tour of Australia earlier this year. Shahid Afridi, wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal and his younger brother Umar Akmal were handed heavy fines. Former captains Mohammad Yousuf, who later retired from international cricket and did not appeal, and Younis Khan were suspended indefinitely from international cricket. Shoaib Malik and Rana Naved were suspended for one year and fined 2 million rupees ($23,500) each. Butt said he was approached by an influential person, whom he refused to name, to pardon Malik. ''I simply told the gentleman that I can't do this,'' he said. Butt agreed with MPs that he would not consider video footage of statements from players and team management which was leaked last week. It contained evidence from officials suspicious of match fixing within the team. Younis told the committee that his case was not properly heard during the initial inquiry, and said he was not given solid reasoning why he was suspended. The PCB inquiry committee had said that Younis' infighting with Yousuf brought down ''the whole team and their attitude has a trickledown effect which is (a) bad influence for the whole team, (they) should not be part of national team in any format.'' But Younis said he had been responsible for urging Yousuf to leave the rebel Indian Cricket League, paving the way for his return to the national team. ''How can I bring back the man if I have to fight with him?'' he said. Younis, who leaves for England on Tuesday to play for county cricket for Surrey, said he was confident of again playing for his country. Inquiry committee chairman and PCB chief operating officer Wasim Bari said the report found infighting stemming from ''petty and ego issues of senior players'' and a lack of confidence and commitment plagued Pakistan during the tour. He said senior players wanted to become Pakistan captain ''at the expense of bringing down the sitting captain.'' Malik, Younis, Yousuf, Afridi and wicketkeeper Akmal were the main perpetrators, the inquiry committee said. The report was particularly scathing of Yousuf. ''He even failed to follow the game plan,'' Bari said. ''(He) showed no remorse for the dismal performance of the team under his command, (and) instead came up with a novel argument that as Pakistan has never won a series in Australia, there is nothing unusual in losing this series.'' The committee blamed then manager Abdul Raqib for failing to instill discipline into the side. ''The weak management allowed minor incursions to brew into major issues,'' he said.
By: Dawn News
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