Spot-fixing plot deepens

New footage was aired by a private Pakistani news channel of bookmaker Mazhar Majeed implicating four more Pakistani cricket players in the spot-fixing-hit tour of England. In the clip, Mazhar Majeed says “…we have got Umar Akmal, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Aamir, Mohammad Asif, Salman Butt, Wahab Riaz…that is six yeah? Imran Farhat…that is seven out of 11 players.” The footage is apparently taken from the British tabloid News of the World’s sting operation during Pakistan’s fourth Test against England at Lord’s.First and foremost, the authenticity of this video is not clear. According to media reports, this particular footage is part of the evidence submitted by the International Cricket Council (ICC) in its hearing against Salman, Aamir and Asif. If true, then the ICC must do a better job at protecting sensitive information. It is however commendable that the ICC has refrained from publicly commenting on the fate of the four other players mentioned in the videotape. Now though, all sorts of questions arise as to the transparency of the spot-fixing hearings.

Why did the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), if aware of this information, include some of these players in the recently concluded series against South Africa? The ICC officially suspended Salman, Aamir and Asif after the first part of this video surfaced. Should the same precedent not be applied to these four players? Given the latest information, now available in the public domain, why are Riaz and Umar selected in the T20 and Test squads to tour New Zealand later this month? Imran Farhat, dropped for the tour, is so far the only one of these four to have threatened to sue Mazhar Majeed for what he says is an attempt to malign his reputation.Meanwhile, the PCB has offered to make Javed Miandad — already the director general cricket in the PCB — the batting and fielding consultant for the upcoming New Zealand tour. Miandad is not happy because he will be answerable to the head coach, Waqar Younis. As loyal fans of the Pakistan cricket team we deserve better and do not wish to see such shenanigans.One thing is for sure, the cricketing world in general and Pakistan in particular must get its house in order. The sport has suffered greatly at the hands of bookmakers and mismanagement of the boards. The ICC and all cricket boards must clean up the sport – Dailytimes