Mani slams PCB over lack of anti-corruption advice

LONDON - Ehsan Mani, the Pakistani former president of the International Cricket Council (ICC), has accused the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) of failing to educate its players about the dangers of corruption.

By (AFP)

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Published: Tue 14 Sep 2010, 6:31 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 2:59 AM

Pakistan’s tour of Britain has been overshadowed by newspaper allegations of a betting scam that saw no-balls deliberately bowled in the fourth Test against England at Lord’s last month.

The claims, published in the News of the World, led to the suspension of Pakistan Test captain Salman Butt and bowlers Mohammad Aamer and Mohammad Asif by the ICC.

Mani, in an interview with the October edition of the Wisden Cricketer magazine, said the PCB had to take it share of blame for the scandal.

‘When players first come into the international game, they are given a one-to-one induction (by the ICC) on how they might be compromised,’ he said.

‘But the Pakistan board is clearly not getting the message through to its players. The onus is on the PCB to explain how players under its control could behave like this.’

Mani, who led the ICC, cricket’s global governing body, from 2003-06, dismissed claims Pakistan players were among the most vulnerable to ‘spot-fixing’ approaches because they weren’t as well-paid as rival international cricketers.

‘All cricketers round the world get paid well,’ Mani said. ‘Even Pakistani players are exceedingly well paid relative to the standard of living in their country. There is no excuse (for corruption) apart from sheer greed.

‘If a player comes from a very under-privileged background and makes the big time, he needs a lot of mentoring, a lot of support and education.

‘We have to be honest — there has been a failure in the system in Pakistan here and certainly Pakistan should be accountable to the ICC to explain how it’s gone so wrong.’

Mani added the time was now right for the ICC to approach the government in India, the global centre of illegal betting on cricket, to legalise gambling.

‘The ACSU (the ICC’s anti-corruption and security unit) works very closely with the bookmakers in countries where gambling is legal.

‘But in the grey markets, particularly India, where it is totally unregulated, the ACSU’s intelligence can only ever be superficial.

‘So this is the time for the ICC to say to the Indian government that you have to bring this into the loop...This is hurting the credibility not only of the game but of India and Pakistan.’

Mani’s comments were published on the same day as Haroon Lorgat, the ICC chief executive, speaking after a meeting of the ICC chief executives’ committee in Cape Town, said Tuesday: ‘I am especially keen to engage with governments to consider the regulation of betting.’

Meanwhile former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif resigned Tuesday as coach of the national cricket academy following comments he made last week about the spot-fixing allegations.

Pakistan fast bowler Wahab Riaz is due to be interviewed by British police, who have already questioned his three suspended team-mates, this week.

Pakistan’s next tour match is the third one-day international against England at The Oval here on Friday.

England lead the five-match series 2-0.

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