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Rameez Raja blames media for smartwatch controversy

Aadya Sharma
FEATURED COLUMNIST
News
746   //    27 May 2018, 18:26 IST

Asad Shafiq using his smartwatch during the first Test
Asad Shafiq using his smartwatch during the first Test


What's the story?

Former Pakistan captain Rameez Raja has downplayed the 'smartwatch' controversy during the just concluded England-Pakistan Test, stating that the issue was blown out of proportion by the media.

“I think it was an unnecessary controversy because this is not something new,” Raja was quoted as saying to 'Jang' newspaper in the UK.

In case you didn't know...

Pakistan players, wearing smartwatches during the first Test against England at Lord's, were warned by the ICC's anti-corruption team. The officials met the Pakistani players after the opening day of the first Test and told them to not use the watches, that can be used to send and transmit voice messages and text, just like a normal smartphone.

The heart of the matter

Raja said that he had noticed the Irish players also wearing smartwatches during their side's one-off Test against Pakistan in Malahide. Upon asking Asad Shafiq, who was seen wearing the watch along with Babar Azam, Raja got to know that the players were wearing them to keep a track on their fitness.

"I didn't know who was wearing them but yes, the ICC anti-corruption officer came to speak to us and they told us this is not allowed," Pakistan bowler Hasan Ali had said after the end of the opening day.

What's next?

The first Test ended with Pakistan winning by nine wickets and will go to Leeds for the second Test with their heads held high and the controversy behind them.

Author's take

The controversy, or if one should call it that, seems to be an unnecessary distraction for the Pakistan side, who clinched the crucial junctures and ended with a comprehensive win. The players were warned against wearing smartwatches, with rules proving to be unclear regarding their usage (technology and its influence on the game is increasing by the day), and that's where the discussion should have been stalled.

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