KARACHI: Former Pakistan cricket team captain Imran Khan has called for an overhaul of the country’s cricket set-up after the ICC warned the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to improve its governance and enforce anti-corruption measures.
“For years now our players have been linked to corruption,” the cricketer turned politician told a private news channel on Thursday after the International Cricket Council’s warning.
“When the spot fixing allegations first came out against our players in the News of the World newspaper, the PCB itself should have taken action against the players instead of waiting for the ICC to step in,” Imran added.
The ICC suspended Pakistan test captain Salman Butt and pace bowlers Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif after the Sunday newspaper claimed they had been bribed to do spot fixing during the fourth test against England at Lords in August. The three players have denied any wrongdoing.
PCB chairman Ijaz Butt also had to withdraw allegations he made against the England team that they were involved in taking bribes to lose the third one-dayer at the Oval on September 17.
“The ICC move to warn us and put us on notice is a shameful day for every Pakistani. It is a shame for Pakistan cricket and the reason is we don’t have any cricket institution in Pakistan,” Imran said.
“Ijaz Butt’s governance has been a failure. He should have resigned the moment he apologised to the England board and withdraw his statement because they threatened him with legal action,” he added.
Imran said although the country had lots of talent, Pakistan cricket was in constant crisis because the board was not elected and there was no “meritocracy” in the cricket structure.
“Tell me in which country does the president appoint the chairman of the cricket board,” he said.
“Today we face problems because the cricket board never took action against players accused of match-fixing.
“In order to save itself and to ensure we didn’t lose key players the administrators were reluctant to carry out and complete investigations against such players,” Imran said.