Recipient of a lifetime ban, Saleem Malik believes sports can never be rid of corruption
Former Pakistani cricketer Saleem Malik, who has been banned for life by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for match fixing, is convinced that cricket or any other sport can never be rid of corruption.
“These fixing matters they can never be completely eradicated from cricket or other sports,” Malik told PTI in an interview.
“They can be curtailed at the most because these people who want to make easy money from cricket will always come up with new ways to target players and officials and make them greedy,” he said.
Not convinced with the security units
Malik was the skipper of the Pakistani Cricket team for some time but his role in a match-fixing scandal ended his cricketing career. Malik was banned for life in 2000 on the recommendation of the Justice (retd) Malik Qayyum inquiry commission set up to probe match-fixing in Pakistan cricket.
Malik is convinced that the security units set up by ICC and its member boards are not enough to clean the menace of fixing.
“I think the ICC and member boards can make their anti-corruption units more effective by including some high profile and well reputed former players on their units. Because only a top player has the experience to detect anything wrong in a match,” the 54-year-old said.
“Former police or intelligence officials who work with the ICC and member boards don’t have the cricketing acumen or background to immediately notice something suspicious in a match. Only a cricketer can do that. It is human nature. The best way to further curb this menace is to have more stringent laws to deal with the corrupt,” he added.
PCB doesn’t protect the players
Malik, who played 103 tests and 283 ODIs for his national team is the only player from Pakistan to be handed a lifetime ban. The former cricketer lamented that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) neither tried to educate their players nor did it protect them from fixing attempts.
“Look at India they have protected their players despite allegations cropping up. The PCB should never have allowed Salman Butt, Mohammad Aamir, Mohammad Asif or even Danish Kaneria to be tried in the United Kingdom. These players should have been punished by the PCB at home,” Malik said.
About his own ban, he said, “For the last one and half years I have sent copies of the court order to the Pakistan board asking them to give me clearance to resume my ties with cricket at any level but they are not responding at all.” The option of approaching the ICC is also closed for him since the international cricket board said that a player in such a case must come through ‘proper channels.’