KARACHI: As dust settles on the shocking announcement that Islamabad United duo Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif have been suspended under the Pakistan Cricket Board’s Anti-Corruption Code, several experts have weighed in on the controversy that has rocked the Pakistan Super League.
Sallu praises PCB, calls for strict action
Former chief selector Salahuddin Sallu praised PCB for acting so swiftly. “This is a really good step by the PCB,” he said. “It was good to see instantaneous action taken by the board. This shows PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan and league chairman Najam Sethi are determined to make this league successful. This has set an example for other players and very strict action should be taken if they are found guilty.”
Sallu added that the success of the first edition meant it was always going to be targeted by the bookies.
“Players are always told about how they should act in such situations and asked to inform the PCB’s Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) if a suspicious person tries to contact them,” he said. “If they don’t inform the ACU then it’s players’ fault and they should be punished for it. I am sure the PCB have solid proof against them, that’s why they were sent back.”
PCB suspends Islamabad United duo for corruption
Yousuf bemoans players’ decision
Former Test batsman Muhammad Yousuf said that it is really sad to see such good players being involved in such acts. “Pakistan had a good opener in Sharjeel after a long time and now he has been involved in this corruption case,” he said. “The players should know what is right and what is wrong. The PCB should tell them this in no uncertain words before a tournament.”
The legendary middle-order player then went on to echo Sallu’s statement that the players need to be dealt with strictly.
“Very strict action needs to be taken against them so that no one else tries to get involved in this type of act again,” he said.
We have evidence against suspended players: PCB chairman
Islamabad United promise complete cooperation
Islamabad United’s media manager Hassan Cheema said the team is understandably disappointed at this development but emphasised their commitment to a zero-tolerance policy towards any violations of the rules or stated guidelines.
“We have and will continue to cooperate with the PCB to take strict action against any player found guilty under the PCB’s Anti-Corruption Code,” he said. “The PSL is an asset of Pakistan and we will stick to our zero-tolerance policy to keep this league clean from corruption.”
Amir and co should never have been allowed back: Ramiz
Cricketer-turned-commentator Ramiz Raja believes allowing the players involved in the 2010 spot-fixing scandal to return paved the way to the recent corruption scandal in the PSL.
This is horrendous and extremely painful,” Ramiz told the Mumbai Mirror from Dubai. “We did not want it. Pakistan has gone through hell because of such situations. One more [scandal] to deal with. No lessons were learned from the [Mohammad] Amir saga.”
Mohammad Irfan under investigation but not suspended yet
The 54-year-old reiterated the claim he earlier made when Amir was included in the national team that players who put the country’s name in disrepute should never be allowed to come back.
“I wanted to make them [Amir and co] examples and not bring them back into the system,” he said. “It is a straight-forward call for me but I was not in charge of the decision. Now it has come back to bite us.”
However, Ramiz doesn’t believe the PSL as a product will face a setback due to the ongoing scandal. “I don’t think it is a setback,” he said. “We have got England limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan here. We have got Brendon McCullum. The talent pool is very good. There is a lot of interest in the PSL. Now the final will be in Lahore; every foreign player is ready to cooperate to make it happen. The integrity of the PSL was at stake and the PCB took a prompt decision, which is right and transparent.”
(With additional input from News Desk)