Sutherland says his comments were not intended to embarrass PCB

Melbourne - Tensions between Australian and Pakistani cricket boards eased after Cricket Australia (CA) chief executive James Sutherland clarified that his comments on Judge Qayyum’s recommendations were not supposed to embarrass the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). Sutherland said last month that the three Pakistan players, Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer, would not have been banned on charges of spot-fixing if the PCB had taken all the steps recommended in Judge Qayyum’s pivotal report into match-fixing more than a decade ago.

The PCB complained to International Cricket Council (ICC) about Sutherland’s comments, but the world body said that it was not possible for it to settle the issue involving two boards. The Age reported that Sutherland spoke to PCB’s chief operating officer Subhan Ahmad and clarified that his comments on the Qayyum inquiry were not meant to put PCB in a difficult position. Sutherland explained that it was in response to a question during an interview and not intended to criticise anyone.

In a recent media interview, when asked how the sport could guard against corruption when gambling was unregulated in several cricket-playing nations, Sutherland said: “In the context of what happened last year, I think it is really important to read his (Judge Qayyum’s) full report but also his recommendations. If you have a look at the recommendations, ask yourself whether Pakistan Cricket Board actually went through and implemented all of those recommendations. Well, I can’t say for sure but I would have big question marks about whether those things would have happened last year if those recommendations were fully implemented.”