Monday, Jun 16, 2003
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In his autobiography, Cutting Edge, Miandad, no stranger to controversy, claims that concerns over the conduct of his team in the match on April 12, 1999, led him to resign as coach just a month before the World Cup.
Now back in charge as the team coach and preparing for Pakistan's three-match NatWest series opener with England at Old Trafford on Tuesday, Miandad's claim backs up allegations about the Sharjah game made earlier by current captain Rashid Latif.
Pakistan lost to England by 62 runs five days after thrashing it by 90 runs and Miandad, the highest run-scorer in Pakistan's Test history, says in his book that he was ``concerned that our performance may have had little to do with cricket.''
According to a report in The Mail On Sunday, Miandad claims that during the interval between innings, he received telephone calls which suggested his players may have been bribed to lose the match.
``I called them to swear on the Holy Koran; they said they knew nothing,'' he writes.
``It ended up being a turbulent team meeting during which some of the `senior' players were especially riled up. I didn't let the friction get to me.
``Instead, I outlined a simple strategy and alerted everyone to play according to plan. The way our innings proceeded, though, it was as if I hadn't said a word to anyone,'' Miandad writes in his book.
Miandad says, ``It was a pathetic performance in cricketing terms, which was bad enough.
``But with all the talk of betting syndicates in International cricket, and with match-fixing allegations swirling around major centres like Sharjah, I was also concerned that our performance may have had little to do with cricket. It wasn't easy for me to shake off this idea.''
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