No mafia involved: Imran

DUBAI - Pakistan cricket is going through one of the toughest times in its history and the problem is just getting worse.

By Liaqat Ali

Published: Fri 12 Nov 2010, 12:18 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 2:46 AM

There is hardly any series which goes without a scandal. After spot-fixing saga in England, wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider’s untimely departure to England on the day of final one-dayer against South Africa has brought more misery to Pakistan Cricket Board.

Whenever there is a cricketing problem in the country the people will look to Imran Khan for the help because under his captaincy Pakistan won the only one-day international World Cup in 1992. He brought sanity to the cricket team and extracted best out of the talented side.

Imran was in Dubai on Wednesday on the invitation of Pakistan Business Council and while talking to Khaleej Times exclusively, the former captain said: “Haider’s issue is another big humiliation for Pakistan cricket. I don’t know what is the reason behind this but I find it very difficult to believe that there is some mafia behind this.

“People are guessing it might be a ploy to seek asylum in England but nothing can be said at this moment. I think there is more to it.”

The former all-rounder said: “It means we have to put our house in order. The cricket structure has to be changed completely. We have to stop this practice of president appointing PCB chairman, who is not accountable to anyone.

“We need to have a cricketing structure like other countries — a system based on merit. At the moment it is ad hoc system which has failed completely. Pakistan is a country which has tremendous cricketing talent and it cannot be polished in this system.

“It is total chaos now and lack of discipline and issue after issue are tarnishing Pakistan’s image abroad.

“If we cannot produce a better player how can we produce a better captain who can guide this rudderless ship out of these rough waters.”

The man who played international cricket for two decades and has been a politician since the mid-1990s said: “The News of the World uncovered this spot-fixing by chance because it is the most difficult thing to detect. After the scandal, the PCB remained inactive and the ICC had to intervene to save the game from more embarrassment.

“It is not ICC’s job to rectify cricketing problems in Pakistan, it is the responsibility of the PCB. I accept that spot-fixing case should never have gone to the ICC. Had board conducted the inquiry and taken action immediately, the ICC would not have come into play. Because the PCB did nothing while all these match-fixing allegations were hitting the papers, the board said they were not doing anything and then a lame excuse by the chairman to blame English team of match-fixing as if that justified what Pakistani players were doing.

“We should put our own house in order rather than blaming others. It speaks volumes of the incompetency of the PCB.”

Imarn, who was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame in July this year, said: “England and India stand a good chance to lift the World Cup being played in the subcontinent.”

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