KARACHI // The former Pakistan captain Salim Malik says that he has accepted the job as head coach of the Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) national academy. Malik, who had a life ban for alleged involvement in match-fixing overturned last month, wants to get back into the game as soon as possible, though the appointment is not official at this stage. "The board has asked me if I wanted to be head coach at the national academy and I have given them my consent," Malik said. "I am itching to renew my ties with cricket which has given me so much and this position allows me to pass on my expertise to youngsters."
A PCB official said the board would issue an official statement on Wednesday. "Look, nothing is final as yet, the chairman only had some discussions with Malik that is all," the official said. Malik, who played 103 Tests, was banned by the PCB in 2001 on the recommendation of a judicial inquiry which carried out an 18-month investigation into allegations of match-fixing made against several Pakistani players.
The inquiry commission recommended a life ban for Malik and fines for other senior players including Wasim Akram, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Waqar Younis. Malik challenged his punishment in the courts and it was lifted last month, when a civil court judge said imposing the ban had been beyond the PCB's powers. The International Cricket Council (ICC) has yet to ratify the court's ruling and officially allow Malik's return to cricket.
"The court has cleared me and vindicated my position that I am innocent of these match-fixing charges," Malik said. *AP