Cricket: Vigilance division to keep strict eye on players says Zaka Ashraf

PCB chief vows to eliminate corruption from Pakistan cricket.


Agencies November 16, 2011

LONDON: The Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) plans of setting up a vigilance division to prevent its players from becoming involved in corrupt activities are near completion, according to chairman Zaka Ashraf.

The move is a response to the spot-fixing scandal which led to the imprisonment of Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir. The vigilance division will be similar to the anti-corruption Access Unit established by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) earlier this year. Ashraf said that he will make sure no Pakistani player is involved in corruption.

“We’re going to keep a very strict eye and bring in strict discipline so that the players, wherever they are, don’t get in touch with people who try to drag them into such negative activities,” he said. “We want to eliminate that. We have to be a respectable board and work with the rest of the world and move forward.”

However, the absence of a players’ union in Pakistan means that there is no formal anti-corruption education for players like the extensive program run by the Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA) in England. Tim May, Chief Executive of the Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations, said that a players’ association can be a powerful means to eradicate corruption.

“We believe that player associations are an important vehicle in the fight against corruption,” he said. “They’re able to build a culture of collectiveness amongst players and continually reinforce integrity messages. Unfortunately Pakistani players haven’t shown a consolidated desire to form an association in the past.”

Australia set up anti-corruption unit

Meanwhile, Cricket Australia (CA) announced that it has established an Anti-Corruption and Security Unit to help maintain the integrity of the country’s domestic competitions.

The unit will oversee the Sheffield Shield, Ryobi Cup and the newly-formed Big Bash League with the International Cricket Council (ICC) continuing to monitor international competitions.

“Betting-related corruption is a significant issue to sport in general and the CA is determined to institute measures that safeguard the integrity of our sport,” said CA Chief Executive James Sutherland. “There’s been no evidence of problems in domestic cricket but we want to move proactively.”

Pakistan, Bangladesh yet to nominate candidate

Meanwhile, the Pakistan and Bangladesh cricket board chiefs met with the International Cricket Council (ICC) committee to discuss nominations for the post of the governing body’s vice-president, but a decision is yet to be taken.

“The two boards confirmed that they would be nominating a candidate by December 31,” said an ICC media release.

Ashraf has said that the decision by the PCB will be taken after its governing body’s approval.

According to a PCB official, the board has sought assurance from the BCB for touring Pakistan in return for letting it nominate a candidate. AGENCIES (With additional reporting by Fawad Hussain)

Published in The Express Tribune, November 17th,  2011.

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