Ramiz Raja rubbishes claims of match-fixing by Hawkins
Former Pakistan captain, Ramiz Raja has rubbished the sensational match-fixing claims made by British journalist, Ed Hawkins in his recent book.
Hawkins has claimed in excerpts of his book published in the "Daily Mail" newspaper that the 2011 World Cup semi-final at Mohali was fixed and also said that Pakistan's banned trio of Salman Butt, Muhammad Asif and Muhammad Aamir were trapped in the spot-fixing scandal in England.
"I don't think we need to give any importance to the book or claims by the journalist," Ramiz told reporters in Lahore. "I don't but any of his claims. I can say with certainty the World Cup semi final was not fixed," he said. "Similarly talk about the three players being trapped or innocent is rubbish. They knew all along what was happening and no one can trap anyone like this.
They are serving a ban and they have served their jail sentences so it is useless to talk about them now," the former captain, who is now a well known commentator, said. Speaking on the current state of affairs in Pakistan cricket, Ramiz said he was not in favor of having too many coaches with the national team. "I don't support having so many coaches. I am a firm believer that the captain is the one who guides the team and I believe he should be the one in charge of everything," he said. Ramiz pointed out that Pakistan cricket had plenty of talent which just needed polishing.
"Lets give them credit that despite not being able to play at home for the last three years and despite the spot fixing controversies this team has done well in the last two years and reached the knockout stage of major ICC events," he said. He said he believed in polishing the talents of a player but not subduing his natural flair. "He just needs to be channelized and made mentally stronger so that he knows how to react in different situations and not make mistakes," he said. Ramiz also felt that the manager of the Pakistan team should be a former player.
"I think former players are best suited for this role in the national team and in the past former players who worked as managers have done well," he said. Talking about the forthcoming tour to India, Ramiz said he felt that Pakistan had a very good chance of beating India in their own backyard. "I am happy to see the resumption of bilateral ties and I would love to see test matches also between the two countries soon."