Spot-fixing scandal tarnishes Pakistan image in world
stan cricket has been badly tarnished by guilty verdicts handed down Tuesday to former captain Salman Butt and pacer M Asif by the Crown Court London over a spot-fixing batting scam after near about 19 days of hearing.
Butt faces a maximum prison sentence of seven years and Asif a maximum of two years. They are expected to be sentenced today (Wednesday). Aamir has already confessed bowling no ball under captains pressure may escape punishment or get less punishment as his fate to be decided later. In the scandal, other Pakistani players Kamran Akmal, Umar Akmal and Wahab Riaz had also maligned by the agent Mazhar Majeed but due to insufficient evidences they had escaped. International Cricket Councils anti-corruption group also investigated the issue but they escaped punishment due to non-availability of sufficient proofs against them.
It is a very disappointing and sad day for Pakistan in one way, for the players and for Pakistan cricket to be caught up in criminal proceedings. But they did something wrong and they had to pay the price for it. Now it is the time ripe for Pakistan Cricket Board to constitute a committee to make thorough interrogations into the matter and if it found any one of them guilty, he should be banned for life to stop further involvement of youngsters in future for the sake of country. A few years ago when the Justice Qayuum report announced its verdict, served us with a warning and cautioned the PCB, nothing was done about it.
The impact of the Qayuum report lasted only a few months because the boards who knew that their players were up to something were insecure, they tried to bury it under the carpet, they decided to push for victories on the field, distract the public and not tackle the issue at hand. The impact of this verdict should last for a long time and boards should take responsibility to see what is happening. Aamir and Mazhar Majeed have already confessed and their fate would be decided later this week after hearing their arguments. The damage to Pakistan cricket, to its credibility, had already been done when the news of this case first broke. Pakistan have lost some of the best cricketers and it can be hoped that this sends a message out to upcoming players that these short-cut methods to earn a quick buck can cost them respect and their career. No matter how much money one makes quickly, it vanishes and so does the rest of ones life.
Earlier, while assuming Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Zaka Ashraf has said that spot-fixers would be dealt with iron hands to clean Pakistan cricket from match-fixers. It is imperative for PCB chief Zaka Ashraf to take up matter seriously and launch inquiry into the earnings and properties of Pakistan team players, which they purchased during their careers if any one of them found involved by purchasing properties through illegal means his case should be forwarded to the Supreme Court of Pakistan for necessary action and exemplary punishments to restore the image of cricket and to restore the parity in the world cricket.