Pakistan casino row selector summoned home

In this Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015 file photo, Pakistan chief selector Moin Khan addresses a press conference in Karachi, Pakistan. (AP)

Pakistani cricket chiefs Tuesday summoned the chief selector home from the World Cup as they investigate reports he visited a casino shortly before the team's disastrous loss to the West Indies.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) launched a probe on Monday as claims surfaced that Moin Khan had been seen in a casino in the New Zealand city of Christchurch shortly before Saturday's 150-run defeat.

PCB chairman Shehryar Khan told reporters Moin Khan had been recalled to account for himself in person.

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"Moin told me that he had gone to casino for a meal with his wife and his friend and friend's wife. I have asked him to return and explain his position to the enquiry committee," chairman Khan said.

"Pakistan team manager Naveed Cheema will chair the tour selection committee (from now onwards)."

Moin's presence at the World Cup was criticised by a number of former players, who said it was unnecessary and a waste of money to send him to Australia and New Zealand for the event.

Pakistan crumbled to 160 all out chasing the West Indies' 310-6 in Christchurch on Saturday, losing their first four batsmen for just one run, to add to the anguish of their opening defeat by arch-rivals India.

Fans in the central Pakistani city of Multan held a mock funeral for the national team after the defeat, which left them rooted to the bottom of Pool B.

Pakistan will hope to kick-start their tournament when they take on Zimbabwe in Brisbane on Sunday.

Moin was a member of Pakistan's only World Cup-winning team when the tournament was last played in Australia and New Zealand 23 years ago. He also skippered Pakistan between 1998-2001.

Timeline on Pakistan World Cup turmoil

Factfile on Pakistan's World Cup turmoil after chief selector Moin Khan was summoned home after reportedly being spotted in a casino in Christchurch hours before the team's defeat by the West Indies:

Feb 12: Eight Pakistan players, including maverick former captain Shahid Afridi, fined for breaching a team curfew ahead of their crucial World Cup game against India. They are also warned that a repeat offence will see them kicked out of the tournament.

"Eight of the Pakistan players, which also included former captain Shahid Afridi and opener Ahmed Shehzad, were fined 300 Australian dollars (US $230) after they came late to their Sydney hotel on Sunday," sources in the Pakistan team tell AFP.

Feb 15: Afridi plays down being fined for breaking the curfew, claiming he and his team-mates went out to eat and not to dance the night away.

"There are restaurants that have clubs inside them - nothing happened, we went for food then came back," Afridi told BBC Urdu.

"When you have no news to show, they spread these kind of rumours to get attention from people. Nothing happened that night. We went for dinner - we are in Australia, not in (Pakistani cities) Thatta or Larkana."

Feb 15: Pakistan lose World Cup opener to arch-rivals India by 76 runs at the Adelaide Oval.
The defending champions make 300 for seven with Virat Kohli (107) and Shikhar Dhawan (73) sharing a second-wicket stand of 129 before Suresh Raina hits 74. In reply, Pakistan are bowled out for 224 with skipper Misbah-ul-Haq making 76.

It was India's sixth win in six World Cup games against Pakistan.

Feb 18: Pakistan's campaign rocked by fresh allegations of unrest when reports claim that fielding coach Grant Luden was involved in a heated row with senior players.

Initial reports in the Pakistan media claim Luden resigned after an argument with Afridi, Shehzad and Umar Akmal.

"Luden had a serious argument with some senior players and out of frustration resigned," a source in the Pakistan camp told AFP.

But the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) deny Luden resigned after the India match although they admit he had offered to quit before the World Cup started.

Feb 21: Pakistan lose to the West Indies by 150 runs in Christchurch. Chasing 311 to win, Pakistan never recover from slumping to one for four, the worst start in one-day international history, and are all out for 160 in the 39th over with Umar Akmal top-scoring on 59.

Feb 21: Pakistani fans in the south-eastern city of Multan hold a mock funeral after the record-shattering defeat at the hands of the West Indies.

Residents organise a symbolic funeral procession, replete with a coffin with several cricket bats placed over it.

"This time we were really hoping for Pakistan to win," Shama Bibi, one of those taking part, tells AFP. "We don't want to watch this anymore."

Feb 24: Pakistani cricket chiefs launch investigation into reports that chief selector Moin Khan visited a casino shortly before the team's calamitous defeat by the West Indies.

"We have launched an investigation over the reports that Moin Khan visited a casino, action will be taken if the reports prove true," Shehryar Khan, the chairman of the PCB, told reporters.

"As per initial reports, Moin Khan went there to have a meal two days before the match against West Indies and a Pakistani couple photographed him and made a video."

Feb 24: Shehryar Khan tells reporters Moin Khan has been recalled to account for himself in person.

"Moin told me that he had gone to casino for a meal with his wife and his friend and friend's wife. I have asked him to return and explain his position to the enquiry committee," chairman Khan said.

"Pakistan team manager Naveed Cheema will chair the tour selection committee (from now onwards)."

 

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