Match-fixing, spot-fixing should be criminalised

Umar Akmal

From our correspondent

KARACHI: There is a huge clamour these days, mostly from former Pakistan cricketers stressing the need for criminalising match-fixing and spot-fixing in cricket. The voices were raised following dashing right-handed batsman Umar Akmal facing a three-year ban for not reporting the incident of bookies approach to him to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

Ramiz Raja and Rashid Latif were among the cricketers who raised the voice which has a weight. The state should promptly move. If criminalised those found guilty would be jailed and punished severely. There should be no return to any international cricket from the culprits following serving the suspension. Yes, the players completing their punishment may be given chance to play domestic cricket so that they could earn their livelihoods.
In the past few years several fine cricketers fell prey to this menace.

As Ramiz said the other day that Pakistan cannot afford any Umar Akmal any more. I will blame the system and structure of the PCB which has been unable to educate its cricketers to tactfully avert any such situation. Umar had to face ban for not reporting the matter to the PCB. Strong punishment should be handed to such cricketers who are involved in any such issue. If the doors of their return to cricket are closed and their assets confiscated no one will dare to get involved in any such activities in future.

Cricket is regarded as a gentleman game but here the situation is different. The nation is losing fine cricketers due to this issue and such menace should be checked promptly through a bold legislation to criminalise the match-fixing and spot-fixing in cricket. There is no need to shed tears following losing such cricketers who fall prey to this menace. Pakistan has immense talent and the vacuum left through such exits can be plugged promptly if justice is done with the available talent.

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