What’s the story?
Former Pakistan spinner Abdul Qadir has attributed the team’s recent travails with spot-fixing to Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) lax treatment of the 90s match-fixing scandal. The 61-year old even accused iconic names such as Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Mushtaq Ahmed of escaping punishments even as a few other players bore the brunt of the episode.
During a TV show in Pakistan, Qadir claimed, “Had you hanged Wasim Akram, Inzamam, Mushtaq Ahmed — there’s an entire list — instead of giving them a slap on the wrist, what’s happening now would’ve never happened. Ata-ur-Rehman and Salim Malik were made the scapegoats, and even they would’ve escaped if they carried cricketing value or were in their prime.”
“The way of our country is to nab the smaller culprit and let the bigger one go. All of Wasim, Waqar, Inzamam and Mushtaq either currently work or have previously worked within the PCB. Why weren’t the recommendations of Justice Qayyum’s report enforced?”
In the past...
While boasting of some of the most flamboyant cricketers to ever play the game, the 90s also bore witness to a murky fixing scandal also involving quite a few Pakistani players. An inquiry was set-up under Justice Malik Mohammad Qayyum to get to the root of the incident.
The heart of the matter
In 2000, the Qayyum report was primarily responsible for the life-bans of Salim Malik and Ata-ur-Rehman (both of which were overturned a few years later). While placing Akram’s role under the scanner, the report recommended that the left-arm seamer be never allowed to captain Pakistan again after Rehman’s testimony was deemed null and void due to perjury.
Furthermore, the inquiry also suggested fines for five more players including Waqar and Inzamam whilst calling for further investigation into Mushtaq. However, the PCB managed to charge only Malik and Rehman. In 2006, Justice Qayyum revealed that his report might have been influenced by a ‘soft corner’ to Akram’s remarkable ability with the ball.
The 2010 spot-fixing scandal saw bans handed out to the trio of Mohammad Asif, Salman Butt and Mohammad Amir. The latter has returned to the team after serving his suspension while the other two are currently active in the domestic circuit. More recently, the 2017 Pakistan Super League (PSL) was hit by a corruption scandal with the likes of Sharjeel Khan, Khalid Latif, Mohammad Irfan, Shahzaib Hasan and Nasir Jamshed receiving provisional suspensions.
The careers of those implicated in the PSL corruption scandal are in serious jeopardy. Their contracts have been suspended and the PCB has issued a show cause notice to each of the accused cricketers. A three-man tribunal is currently hearing the cases of those involved.
Although there is a danger of Qadir’s views being lost in translation (from Urdu to English), it is unmistakable that his statements were scathing in accusing some of Pakistan’s finest ever players. However, seeing as he has a history of making such over-the-top claims, the erstwhile wrist spinner’s opinion needs to be taken not just with a pinch but a bucket load of salt.