DUBAI: All-rounder Shahid Afridi believes Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) needs to set the right example in order to curb the menace of match fixing in the game. Unless, that is done, Afridi believes, corruption in Pakistan cricket will continue to prosper.
While corruption allegations are running thick and fast in the ongoing Pakistan Super League, with Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif getting suspended, and few others being questioned, the veteran all-rounder feels it is because of PCB's weak stand in the past against fixing which has resulted into the current scenario.
"What can I say? I have been saying in the past also that until the PCB sets or makes an example of such players it will be difficult to stop this menace," Afridi said in an iterview. "To me it is the same situation because you are allowing tainted players back into cricket."
Afridi was referring to the way the board dealt with Mohammad Amir, Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif after they were found guilty of spot-fixing in England in 2010. The trio was banned for a minimum of five years, but they all returned to play competitive cricket after serving their punishment. While the PCB pushed the International Cricket Council to allow Amir to return to cricket in 2015, they also allowed Asif and Butt also to feature in their domestic competitions.
"What is the use if after five years the same players are coming back? I don't think this can be stopped until the right example is set," he added.
Afridi isn't the only one to be critical of the way PCB dealt with the situation. Several former cricketers had also voiced their disapproval. Rameez Raja, while speaking to a news channel on whether Sharjeel and Latif should be allowed to return to cricket, remarked by saying, "over my dead body".
Former Test opener Mohsin Khan too joined the bandwagon by saying, "You can't show leniency in such cases. Once a player is found guilty of soiling the game and his country he should be told to leave cricket forever. But unfortunately in Pakistan cricket set-up, we still have some players who have been accused of fixing in the past."