When a slogan under a cartoon in the paper reads “This is the BBC’s sports desk giving you tomorrow’s cricket results” you know that the joke is more than cricket can take. I don’t think I will see another Pakistan home international being played in my lifetime and with the horrendous flood scenario in Pakistan the guilty four players could hardly have done their country more harm. With the bowlers overstepping the line to order makes this ‘cheating to order’ even more vile but it is just another nail in the Pakistani cricket coffin. If only that were true in isolation. All cricket and cricketers have suffered along with their relevant Governing bodies. I am worried that the British public will show their discontent by not attending the very important one day internationals we have to come. Pakistan certainly cannot afford it!
However, the Pakistan Cricket Board has so much to answer for, as it cannot be a coincidence that they have had so many captains, that even the keen spectator loses count. The disarray of this Board is not entirely unsuspected with all the political overtones and involvement that it has to endure.
Many of their players get paid ‘peanuts,’ and with some of them coming from very poor backgrounds, that ‘dangled’ money, even at this lowly level waved in front of them, is just too much for them to refuse. The whole integrity of cricket suffers and, if found guilty, the players MUST suffer a life-time ban. The lose/lose scenario is made even worse when considering the tremendous potential that a player like Mohammed Aamer has and the rewards he is likely to receive in his international career, as surely, at age 18, he would have become a world class bowler in a short space of time.
The ICC has to act strongly here as, in the past, Pakistani players have received lifetime bans only for the Pakistan Board to revoke this decision at a later date. Pressure must be put on the Pakistan Cricket Board to act in a proper manner with a threat of expulsion from International cricket if this happens again. The drug cheats in athletics are thrown out – this is cricket’s life threatening drug problem!!