Betting on the PSL?  

The Pakistan Super League (PSL) has once again captured the nation’s attention this season, as it has since its inception. Crowds of people have filled stadiums in cities from Rawalpindi to Karachi, eager to witness their favorite cricketing stars. In the midst of this cricket fever, however, a concerning trend has emerged with the presence of certain “sports-based” advertising companies that seem to have slipped under the radar.

These new companies, which were not well-known as PSL sponsors in previous seasons, have suddenly appeared in the last season or two. To circumvent the legal prohibition on betting in Pakistan under the Prevention of Gambling Act 1977, these companies have tweaked their names, replacing words like “bet” with “bat” or “news” (for example, “dafaNews” instead of “dafabet”). When one visits their websites, it doesn’t take long to deduce that they are actually owned by or affiliated with betting companies.

Beyond religious or moral concerns, this represents a larger problem. Pakistan has a history of spot and match fixing, with numerous players caught and punished in the past, including the infamous 2010 incident during a test match against England in London. Many other cricketers have reported advances from bookies and booking agents, some of whom have escaped with minor punishments.

In light of these concerns, it is imperative for the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and other relevant stakeholders to reevaluate their stance and be cautious about which companies they allow to associate with the PSL brand.

AHMED HASAN ANSARI,

Islamabad.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt