Pak women cricketers level sexual harassment charges against officials

PCB forms inquiry committee to probe allegations leveled by women cricketers from Multan region claiming that some officials, including a coach, had demanded sexual favours for selecting and promoting them.

In a scandal that is likely to rock the roots of Pakistan women’s cricket, several players from the Multan region have complained of sexual harassment and misbehaviour by their superiors and officials.

As soon as the complaints were made by some five women players of the Multan region on a television channel yesterday, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) formed a three-member inquiry committee to probe into the matter.

According to women cricketers, some officials, including a coach, had demanded sexual favours for selecting and promoting them.

The players who have made the accusations include Hina Ghafoor, Kiran Khan, Seema Javed, Noor Fatima and Maleeha Shafiq.

They claimed that MCC President Begum Shami Sultan and other club officials were the main culprits in the whole shameful affair and used to demand money from players.

“I had impressive domestic performances and I was confident I would be selected for the national team. But such shameful acts were demanded of me that I decided to quit the game,” accused Kiran.

Maleeha said the MCC would “destroy a girl’s career” if she refused favours. One of the girls even provoked the official, who was taken on beeper by the channel, to answer the allegations against him.

“Tell the truth, just tell everyone why your wife came down to the ground and slapped you in front of everyone,” she said.

The PCB has asked all the five players to appear on June 12 at its regional head office in Lahore.

The committee head and the long serving manager of the national women’s team, Ayesha Ashar said the matter would be probed into thoroughly as it was a “serious” issue.

“The committee will meet each player individually and also examine their career records to see whether any injustice was done to them in selection. It’s a serious matter,” she said.