Cricket's governance crisis
It's very tempting to categorize the News of the World "exposé"
as a problem endemic to Pakistan cricket
. After all, less than 6 months ago, the Pakistan Cricket Board
announced what was essentially a purge
of players who were alleged / proved to have not been on their best behaviour during the thrashing in Australia.
The recommendations were:
After careful and detailed analysis of the events, the personal accounts of the team management and players and examination of record, videos and statistics, the unanimous recommendations of the Committee were as follows:
1. Mohammad Yousuf and Younis Khan keeping in view their infighting which resulted in bringing down the whole team, their attitude has a trickledown effect which is a bad influence for the whole team should not be part of national team in any format.
2. For the shameful act of Shahid Khan Afridi, which has brought the game and country into disrepute, he be fined Rupees Three Million. A warning be issued to him by the Chairman PCB and he be put on probation for 06 months, during which his conduct be strictly monitored.
3. Kamran Akamal be fined Rupees Three Million. A warning be issued to him by the Chairman PCB and he be put on probation for 06 months, during which his conduct be strictly monitored.
4. Umar Akmal be fined Rupees Two Million. A warning be issued to him by the Chairman PCB and he be put on probation for 06 months, during which his conduct be strictly monitored.
5. Rana Naved-ul-Hasan and Shoaib Malik be fined Rupees Two Million. They should not be part of national team in any format for a period of one year.
Recommendations of the Inquiry Committee have been accepted by PCB in totality.
The recommendations of the Committee will go a long way to arrest the continuing decline Pakistan cricket and improve the state of cricket in Pakistan. It is a landmark exercise which is an outcome of labor and hard work of the members of the Committee.
The punishments lasted less than 3 months. Only Rana Naved-ul-Hasan has not been 'pardoned'. Younis' ban was lifted although he has not been picked yet. Mohd. Yousuf was recalled for the last 2 tests of the series against England. Shahid Afridi was even made captain after revoking his fine. Kamran and Umar Akmal were let off with lower monetary fines. Shoaib Malik's one year ban was over-turned and his fine was slashed by 50%.
The ICC definitely has little jurisdiction over the PCB's player-handling procedures. Maybe, that's why it did not raise a red flag. Neither did any of the other members of the ICC Executive Board. However, if it was so
obvious that the PCB's administration was effectively cocking-a-snoop at all those who were for stronger punishments and a cleaner game, was it not even talked about at the board meeting in July
Just as the IPL's governing council was culpable of sleeping
when Lalit Modi & co. ran rings around it, the ICC's board is equally to blame for not asking the PCB tough questions.
Questions are being asked about why the Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU)
of the ICC was blissfully unaware of what was going on. A couple of months ago, it confirmed
that Mohammad Aamer
was not using a mobile phone
while waiting for his turn to bat. In hindsight, that clean chit seems so premature!
From a player management perspective, I have serious doubts over whether some of Pakistan's players even want to play international cricket. Pakistan didn't play a single test in 2008
and have not played at home
since the terror attack on the Sri Lankan team bus
in March 2009.
Under these circumstances, I'd assume that they'd be raring to go, make an impression and show the positive side of Pakistan cricket. The emergence of Umar Akmal, Mohd. Aamir, Wahab Riaz, Saeed Ajmal, etc. gave cricket fans some hope. No more.
Now, as was the case for around 5-6 years in the 1990s and 2000, every single collapse will be viewed with suspicion. Every single recovery by an opponent will generate debate. The worst part is that the suspicion will not be about Pakistan alone. All fans, across the world, will wonder about events in a game.
Did Pakistan 'throw'
the Sydney test against Australia
earlier this year? If so, how did Mohammad Sami, among Pakistan's crappiest and most inconsistent quicks in the last decade, just turn up 3 years after playing a test and rip through Australia's top order
? Why has he not been picked again since that game?
Other countries are hardly above board.
It's hard to not laugh when Hayden says
"I believe it is a shock to cricket and if I can talk on behalf of Australian cricket and the playing group, it's just not even in our DNA to accept any kind of skulduggery when it comes to the game of cricket". He's just suffering from a little amnesia. Heard of John, Mark and Shane
This year, Danish Kaneria and Mervyn Westfield
, who play for Essex, were arrested on spot fixing charges.
There's hardly a major cricket playing country which hasn't been touched by match fixing or spot fixing allegations.
This is yet another opportunity to get things right. The last 10 years have certainly been better from a control over 'fixing in cricket' compared to the 1990s, but the events in the last 2 days have clearly shown that there's a long way to go!
There's a leadership crisis and the ICC must
step in. So far, it hasn't said anything
. The first thing it must do is to stop the ODI series between England and Pakistan. It is unfair & ridiculous to expect fans, and players, to turn up, knowing in advance that specific events in the game have already been agreed to in lieu of money, or even worse, that the result has been fixed.
Secondly, the ICC must demand that countries stop revoking bans or penalties without a proper appeals process being adhered to. The appeal should only be heard by a group of eminent leagles (legal eagles!) and well-respected cricketers. National jurisdiction makes no sense unless the ban / penalty was applied for events in domestic cricket.
Thirdly, the ICC and the ECB must demand that Pakistan not do something stupid every time they land up in the country
to play a test series. In 2010, it is about no-balls. In 2006, it was over changing the condition of the ball
. In 2001, it was again about no-balls
. In 1996, it was a libel case
. In 1992, it was about ball tampering and snatched sweaters
Labels: ban, crisis, governance, icc, leadership, match fixing, pakistan