Pakistan's National Assembly Standing Committee on Sports has decided to summon the cricket board chief Ijaz Butt, team captain Younis Khan and coach Intikhab Alam to testify about the reasons for the team's defeat at the hands of New Zealand in the Champions Trophy semifinal in South Africa.
Standing Committee Chairman Jamshed Ahmed Dasti alleged the national team lost the match to New Zealand “on purpose” in the semifinal.
Jamshed Ahmed Dasti told Geo News: “According to sources the national team also lost the match to Australia on purpose in the round match and that's why NA Standing Committee on Sports has called in Captain Younis Khan, Coach Intikhab Alam and Chairman Ijaz Butt for investigations”.
There is widespread disappointment in Pakistan over Pakistan losing to New Zealand, considered a weak team, in the semifinal. People have been raising doubts about matchfixing.
In Karachi, Shahid Afridi, the Pakistan vice-captain, said luck deserted in the semifinal against New Zealand at the Wanderers. “We were working really hard and playing well in the tournament,” Afridi said after returning home from Johannesburg on Monday. “But luck deserted us in the match against New Zealand,” he said.
Afridi said his team should have posted a bigger total than the 233-9 they managed against the Kiwis. “We could have scored even 300 runs on that wicket,” he said.
The experienced all-rounder said that his team fared poorly in the power-play overs both with the bat and ball. “We didn't utilise the power-play overs when we were batting and then also bowled badly in those overs (in the New Zealand innings),” he said.
Afridi said that Grant Elliott's catch that was dropped by Pakistan captain Younis Khan was a huge setback for his team.
On his part, the Pakistan captain Younis Khan on his return to Karachi said he would never forget the dropped catch that threw his team out of the ICC Champions Trophy in Johannesburg.
“The catch that I dropped (in the semifinal against New Zealand) was crucial. I will regret dropping it for the rest of my life,” Younis said. “Maybe the result could have been different had I not dropped that catch,” he lamented.
Younis fractured the small finger on his right hand even before the start of the elite eight-nation tournament. He missed Pakistan's opening match against the West Indies but came back to lead them against old rivals India.
The senior batsman, who is regarded among his team's best fielders, floored a simple chance off Grant Elliott when the New Zealand batsman was on 42. Elliott went on to score an unbeaten 75 to shepherd his team to a five-wicket triumph in the semifinal at The Wanderers.
Younis, who has come under fire for playing in the tournament with an injury, said that he carried on in spite of a broken finger as he was desperate to help Pakistan win their second major title of the year after leading them to the World Twenty20 triumph.
“There were many things. The dropped catch, missing some run-outs, the umpiring,” he said.Australian umpire Simon Taufel adjudged promising youngster Umar Akmal lbw though television replays confirmed later that the ball deflected off the batsman's bat before hitting the pads. Umar was batting at 55 and his dismissal ended hopes of a big Pakistani total.
Taufel and fellow umpire Ian Gould from England turned down a series of confident appeals when the New Zealanders were chasing the target, Pakistani media report said.
He rejected speculations that captaincy could have affected his own personal performance. “I'm enjoying cricket. In fact all the boys are enjoying playing under my captaincy and that's a good thing,” said Younis, who scored just 53 runs in the Champions Trophy.
Younis said that in spite of the defeat in the semifinals, he was happy that Pakistan finished among the top-four in the Champions Trophy.