DateLine: 5th November 2008
Former Pakistan captain Salim Malik said Tuesday he has accepted an offer to become national academy coach, a month after a court overturned his life ban on alleged involvement in match-fixing.
Malik was initially banned in 2000 after a probe into claims by three top Australian players that he offered them bribes to underperform in a Test against Pakistan.
The ban barred him from holding any cricket administration or coaching post.
But the ruling was overturned last month after the cricketer appealed to Pakistan's top court, freeing him up to accept the academy position.
"I have been offered this post and I have agreed to take it. It is the first step of my return to international cricket and passing my talent to the youngsters will be my top priority," Malik told AFP.
Newly appointed Pakistan Cricket Board chief Ijaz Butt is expected to formally announce the decision on Wednesday. The post was vacant after former opener Mudassar Nazar resigned to join the Global Cricket Academy in Dubai.
"I hope after the court's decision of lifting the ban, the ICC (International Cricket Council) will have no objection and, if needed, we can also apply for ICC's endorsement of the court's decision," said Malik.
"Cricket is my qualification and if needed I will also do some coaching courses."
Australian players Shane Warne, Mark Waugh and Tim May claimed that Malik offered them bribes to underperform during their tour of Pakistan in 1994.
A one-man commission cleared Malik in 1995 citing a lack of evidence after the Australian players refused to return to Pakistan to testify. But a High Court judge later recorded the players' statements in Australia.
Malik's name also featured in an Indian match-fixing inquiry, which led to a life ban for former Pakistan captain Mohammad Azharuddin in 2000. That sanction was later lifted in 2006.
The late South Africa captain Hansie Cronje, also banned for life for involvement in match-fixing, named Malik as an offender.
Malik played 103 Tests and 263 one-day internationals for Pakistan between 1981 and 1999. He led his country in 12 Tests and 34 one-day internationals.
(Article: Copyright © 2008 AFP)