An ongoing case involving Saleem Malik concerning the contents of a conversation about fixing cricket matches from April 2000 will now be heard by an independent adjudicator. Malik filed an appeal after the PCB, in July, termed his response concerning the conversation – conducted as part of a sting operation by the now-defunct English tabloid News of the World – “unsatisfactory and irrelevant”. The independent adjudicator is Justice Fazal-e-Miran Chauhan, who, most recently, also oversaw the case of Umar Akmal.
The PCB said in a release that they felt Malik had “failed to respond till date” to the issue concerning the transcripts 20 years ago. After the Qayyum report was released in 2000 – in which Malik was banned for life – the tabloid released a video in which Malik was allegedly caught offering to potentially corrupt players and games in exchange for money.
The reporter involved in that sting – Mazher Mahmood – was also behind the 2010 Lord’s spot-fixing operation. The revelations and allegations arising from the sting were not part of the Justice Qayyum inquiry; that inquiry took place in the year before this story and the report was published days before the sting.
Over the past few months, Malik has sought to move on from the match-fixing allegations and the subsequent life ban that tarnished his career. There appeared to be momentum in terms of calls to reintegrate the former Pakistan captain into the fold in some capacity, with prominent names like Saqlain Mushtaq and Inzamam-ul-Haq voicing support. The PCB, however, remain adamant the matter concerning the sting operation must be resolved satisfactorily before any such reintegration can happen.
Malik’s statement, submitted in June, was deemed by the PCB to be irrelevant to the issue at hand. “In the backdrop of the above, the PCB will be unable to proceed any further until such time you respond on the said matter,” the board had said at the time.
Malik’s cricketing career and reputation was ultimately sullied by match-fixing scandals. In a judicial inquiry that began in 1998 and continued for 13 months, he was found guilty of bribing Australian cricketers Shane Warne and Mark Waugh to lose the 1994-95 Karachi Test. Malik was fined Rs 1 million and banned for life in 2000, but eight years later his sentence was overturned by a Lahore sessions court, allowing him theoretically to return to the fold. However, this case makes clear little progress has been made between the two parties since Malik began his latest attempt to completely rehabilitate himself.