Karachi: Pakistan coach Intikhab Alam accused the Indian media of triggering and fanning the match-fixing debate and said the Pakistan Cricket Board should decide whether there is any need to restore cricketing ties with a neighbour which is "hell bent" on damaging them.
"The Indian media should be ashamed of itself for creating these stories about our team being involved in match-fixing in the Champions Trophy," a furious Alam said in an interview.
"All this stuff about our team being involved in match-fixing started because of a report in some Indian newspapers and since then they have carried out a relentless campaign to defame us," he said. "Maybe it is time we also reviewed our cricket relations with India and decided whether we really need to play them when they are hell bent on trying to damage us," said Alam, who had coached the Punjab Ranji team in India.
Alam was shocked that a parliamentarian like Jamshed Dasti, who heads the National Assembly Standing Committee on Sports, made a noise on the basis of the reports in India.
"The truth is that it is hard for the Indians to digest the fact that this year in two major tournaments their team, whom they tagged as favourites, was eliminated in the first round and our team not only won the Twenty20 World Cup but also reached the semifinal of the Champions Trophy," he said.
"t is hard for them to accept that we did much better than their team in the Twenty20 World Cup and Champions Trophy," he said. Alam said it was shameful that although the International Cricket Council (ICC) Anti-Corruption and Security Unit had expressed no concerns whatsoever, the Indian media was creating all sorts of stories.
"They even came up this story that myself and Younus Khan have been sacked. I don't know from where they got this story. It is laughable because our board has full confidence in me and the captain," he said.
Alam also hit out at Jamshed Dasti stating he should be very careful while giving statements on cricket matters. "Without any evidence or proof how can he make such allegations?" he said.
Dasti had accused the Pakistani team of throwing their match against Australia. Alam said if the National Assembly Committee asked him to attend any hearing to discuss the Champions Trophy performances he would definitely go. "I'll go because we have nothing to hide. We played bad cricket and lost the semifinal, that is all. We just need to learn from our mistakes," he said.