What’s the story?
Former captain Shahid Afridi has urged Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to set an example of the players involved in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) fixing scandal. The 36-year old sent out a warning that unless those found guilty of corruption are not banned forever, such incidents will continue to torment the country’s cricket fortunes.
“There is huge cricket (PSL) going on. I am only repeating what I said some years back. These things (fixing) will continue unless the board (PCB) makes an example out of those players involved in the scandal. We have been seeing and hearing these things as the old players (accused of corruption) have been called back to the team.
“Everyone knows that even if they get caught, they can serve a five-year ban and then come back to the side. (I say) ban cricket for them forever. Don’t even let them play domestic cricket. We need to set an example of such cricketers. Only then you can stop such incident,” Afridi told Geo News.
Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif were suspended provisionally from the ongoing edition of the PSL for allegedly involving in spot-fixing. Their suspension was part of a probe into an international syndicate looking to corrupt the tournament. The likes of Mohammad Irfan, Zulfiqar Babar and Shahzaib Hasan were questioned before being cleared to play.
The heart of the matter
Even though Afridi did not mention any name, he seemed to be pointing to Mohammad Amir’s comeback after being suspended for five years for his involvement in the 2010 spot-fixing episode which rocked Pakistan cricket. With his age taken into consideration, the left-arm pacer returned to the national team last year and continues to feature across all formats.
There have been also numerous calls for Amir’s co-conspirators Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt to be recalled to the Pakistan side. Both of those players are currently representing Water & Port Development Authority (WAPDA) in the domestic circuit with some success.
PCB Chairman Shahryar Khan has revealed that they have strong evidence implicating the suspended Islamabad United duo of Sharjeel and Khalid. If the 82-year old’s words are to be believed, the careers of both players could be in serious danger.
T20 leagues across the globe have time and again proved to be vulnerable to such nefarious activities. It is highly imperative that the guilty cricketers receive stringent punishments and are not allowed to return to the field again.