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Pakistan's new cricket chief Zaka Ashraf (R) and ICC President Sharad Pawar (C), ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat (L) pose for photographers at the Dubai cricket stadium. -Photo by AFP

LONDON: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has set up a vigilance division to prevent players becoming involved in illegal betting practices, as a response to spot-fixing scandal which led to the imprisonment of former captain Salman Butt and pace bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir, The Telegraph newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The vigilance division is being established by Zaka Ashraf, the new PCB Chairman, with the intention of eradicating corruption. It is similar to the anti-corruption Access Unit established by the England and Wales Cricket Board earlier this year.

“We are going to keep a very strict eye and bring in very strict discipline so that my players, wherever they are, don’t get in touch with people who try to drag them into such negative business,” Zaka said.

“We want to discourage that, we want to eliminate that. We have to be a respectable board, we have to work with English Cricket Board, with the rest of the world and we have to move forward.”

However, absence of a players union in Pakistan means that there is no formal anti-corruption education for players such as extensive program run by Professional Cricketers Association in England which includes a confidential telephone hot line.

“We believe that player associations are an important vehicle in the fight against corruption,” said Tim May, chief executive of the Federation of International Cricketers Associations.

“They are able to build a culture of collectiveness amongst players and continually reinforce various integrity messages to players.”—Agencies

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