KARACHI: Former Pakistan cricket captain Imran Khan on Sunday called for stronger national institutions to prevent corruption scandals undermining the country's favourite sport in the future.
"This whole episode of cricket reflects what is happening in the country," Khan told reporters in Pakistan's central city of Multan during a flood relief campaign.
"We are regarded as a corrupt country because our institutions are not strong and the same thing is happening in cricket because of ad-hocism in the game."
Pakistan's spot-fixing crisis deepened on Sunday after an undercover reporter for a British newspaper allegedly caught opening batsman Yasir Hameed claiming some of his team-mates had been fixing "almost every cricket match."
Hameed's interview, published in the News of the World, followed last Sunday's allegations that Pakistani cricketers Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamir, accepted offers from an apparent bookmaker to deliberately bowl no-balls during the fourth test against England at Lords.
The trio were suspended by the International Cricket Council, but Khan said the latest revelations will further damage cricket in Pakistan.
"Pakistan cricket has suffered the greatest set-back and it's going on and on with further claims of players' involvement."
"We have to make our institutions strong because the future of the country is bright and we should not spoil it," said Khan, who is head of his political party, Tehrik-e-Insaf (Movement For Justice).
Former spinner Tauseef Ahmed said the latest allegations will hurt the game. "Hameed's interview is very damaging and will go against Pakistani players," said Ahmed. "I fear we won't be able to stop this rot now."
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