The ICC continues to block former Pakistan captain Asif Iqbal's return to cricket officialdom.
The News has learnt through reliable sources that the ICC has told the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) officials that it would not allow them to appoint Asif on any key position because of his alleged role in match-fixing scandals.
The PCB chairman Dr Nasim Ashraf had written to the ICC to clarify its stand on Asif, who was in the past black-listed by the Council for his alleged involvement in match-fixing. Dr Ashraf sent the letter to ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed on Asif's request, who wanted to be a part of the mainstream cricket world after spending several years on the sidelines.
The PCB chief had asked Speed to explain ICC's stance on Asif and also about reports that the ICC had declared the former Test cricketer a persona non grata in 2003. Nasim's letter triggered speculations in national cricket circles last month that the PCB is planning to appoint Asif Iqbal as the board's COO. However, even if such reports are true, Speed's negative response makes Asif an unlikely candidate for the important post that is likely to be filled within the next couple of weeks.
In his response to PCB's letter, Speed clearly told Nasim that the ICC remains firm on its stand against allowing players who were tainted by match-fixing allegations to return on key posts.