Pakistan’s Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif were found guilty of spot fixing by an English court, while Mohammad Amir pleaded guilty to the charges even before the proceedings had begun. The International Cricket Council (ICC) banned the trio in February this year for violating the anti-corruption code and they now face possible jail terms in England.
Amir’s situation in the scandal might beg leniency as he was only 18 when the incident occurred and admitted to the charges early on but the position of his two team mates, who are both in their late 20s, fails to get much sympathy.
The trial also saw Pakistani players Kamran Akmal, Umar Akmal and Wahab Riaz named in relation with match-fixing and may face investigation from the ICC.
Rashid Latif, a former captain, was quoted as saying by The Guardian that the fault lies within the structure of the domestic game in Pakistan. The players usually hail from lower class backgrounds and only get the chance to make big money once they are in the international spotlight.
While it is true that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) needs to inject more financial security into the domestic game and that
Pakistan’s players are not very well-paid, is it fair to justify the actions of the players by blaming it on their circumstances? Will the punishments given to these cricketers help put a stop to corruption in the game in the future? Should these players be ever allowed to play for Pakistan again?
How much of the blame lies with ICC’s much vaunted Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) and what more does it need to do?
The head of the anti-corruption unit, former Indian policeman Ravi Sawani, told the trial in England betting syndicates were run by “mafia and underworld dons” in Mumbai and Dubai who make millions from India’s illegal betting industry.
The ICC is now set to launch a new investigation based on the police evidence which begs the question: is it too big a war for the cricket body to handle?
Dawn.com invites its readers to give their views and suggestions.