KARACHI: Former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja on Tuesday said criminalising match-fixing can be a “useful deterrent” to fight the menace which, according to him, needs a concerted effort like the one currently on to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.
Controversial batsman Umar Akmal was handed a three-year ban by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Monday after he failed to report corrupt approaches, prompting Ramiz and Zimbabwean cricketer-turned-commentator Mpumelelo Mbangwa to have a discussion on match-fixing on social media.
In reply, Ramiz said all stakeholders of the game must come together to eradicate match-fixing.”So Umar Akmal officially makes it to the list of idiots! Banned for 3 years. What a waste of a talent! It’s high time that Pakistan moved towards passing a legislative law against match fixing,” Ramiz tweeted on Monday.
“This war seems to be being won by the bad guys, Rambo? He’s [Akmal] quite high profile, isn’t he? Do you think jail time would win the war?” Mbangwa tweeted according to a Press Trust of India report appearing on Deccan Herald website.
“Jail time could be a useful deterrent Pommie, possibly the last resort!! It’s like fighting covid 19, all will have to pitch in to save the cricket world: Fans, Boards, stakeholders, law enforcement agencies, You & I,” Ramiz tweeted.
Ramiz had also expressed his displeasure after Umar was found guilty, saying it was such a waste of talent.
Meanwhile, batting legend Javed Miandad, reacting over the ban imposed on Umar, said he had earlier warned the right-handed cricketer to mend his ways but he paid no heed to the advice.
“Umar is a very talented cricketer and Allah gave him everything. I had warned Umar earlier but he did not mend his ways and now he’s banned for three years. I sensed this thing before,” Miandad said on his YouTube channel.
“Why didn’t you [Umar] report it before/ If you had reported such incident before then the result might have been different,” he said.
Miandad also advised the upcoming cricketers to stay away from any wrongdoings. “There is delay in Allah’s ways but not darkness. Whatever you do will be judged in this world and beyond,” he said.
He further said the International Cricket Council (ICC) has clear rules in place for such incidents which says that if a player is offered bribery or anything like that then he has to report it.
“The PCB must strictly tell players of the trouble they can get themselves into for any wrong practices,” he said.
Miandad urged the incumbent players to play honestly for the country. “Players must remember that what they are today is just because of Pakistan,” he emphasised.
Published in Dawn, April 29th, 2020