Karachi: Pakistani cricket authorities have launched an investigation after a number of current international stars played in exhibition matches in the United States with banned spinner Danish Kaneria.
Kaneria was given a lifetime ban for spot-fixing in an English county game, which under International Cricket Council (ICC) rules effectively bars him from playing anywhere in the world.
But he represented the Houston Eagles in a series of Twenty20 games last weekend in Houston, Texas, with Test players Wahab Riaz and Nasir Jamshed taking part for rival team Boom Boom Blasters.
Other Pakistani players involved in the games were Fawad Alam, who staged a comeback in the national team in last month's Asia Cup, Abdul Razzaq and Shahzaib Hasan.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief operating officer Subhan Ahmed said the matter was under investigation.
"We are looking into how these players featured in these matches -- authorised or unauthorised -- without our permission," Ahmed told AFP late Thursday.
The United States of America Cricket Association (USACA) could also have questions to answer as banned players such as Kaneria are not allowed to play in any match under the auspices of an ICC member country's association.
The England and Wales Cricket Board banned Kaneria two years ago for his part in a spot-fixing case during a 2009 county match between Essex and Durham.
A disciplinary board found he had enticed his Essex team-mate Mervyn Westfield to concede an agreed number of runs in an over in return for money.
Three other Pakistani players -- Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer -- are also serving five-year bans in a separate spot-fixing case of 2010.
Asif was also stopped from playing an exhibition match in Norway last year.