Latif asks ICC to conduct character scrutiny of stakeholders
Karachi: Former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif has asked the ICC to conduct a character examination of all the stakeholders involved in the game of cricket in its member countries.
"If the ICC is sincere about saving or restoring the credibility and image of cricket, it needs to undertake some unusual measures like holding a character scrutiny of all stakeholders, no matter how long it takes," he said.
"Frankly speaking, I am not comfortable after this IPL spot-fixing scandal with some of the stakeholders involved in the game in different capacities including players, commentators, team owners, board officials and even members on important ICC committees.
"It is no secret that some of these people who have held or hold key positions in ICC committees or in the commentary box or in teams have links with top business persons who place heavy bets on matches through bookmakers," he alleged.
Latif, who played a key role in first bringing the match fixing menace to the fore, said that even recent rule changes made in one-day international or being suggested needed to be scrutinised independently in order to find out who would benefit the most from these -- the sport or individuals.
"I had warned the ICC 10 years back in a letter that after the hue and cry raised over fixing of matches, the bookmakers would now resort to fancy fixing (fixing key moments of a match that necessarily do not affect the outcome of the result) and they would target the players.”
"Even then the ICC had ignored my letter and even now when these T20 leagues started mushrooming around the world with the IPL leading, they turned a blind eye to some obvious things visible in these matches," Latif said.
The former captain said he was not surprised by the IPL spot fixing scandal.
"These leagues are prime opportunities for bookmakers to make money by luring players into their trap. To me what has been uncovered so far in the IPL spot fixing scandal is just a tip of the iceberg. There are many other people involved in this racket," said Latif.
Latif said he was amazed that the President of the Indian Cricket Board was still adamant about not resigning.
"His son-in-law has been found involved in this scandal and the team his company owns is under the scanner, and yet he is refusing to step down. What is the ICC doing about it...Nothing," he said.
"Is not the BCCI a member of the ICC? Don`t any rules or regulations of the ICC apply to them?," Latif asked.
He blamed the ICC for turning a blind eye to many obvious things in IPL and other leagues for years now because of different reasons.
"Even a common cricket fan can sense something was wrong in so many of these matches played in these leagues and yet nothing happened. Even now it was the Delhi police, which acted and not the ICC ACU. It is a sad state of affairs that such a noble sport is being sullied due to the ineffectiveness of the sport`s world governing body," he concluded.