Latif warned of ‘spot-fixing’ seven years ago
Karachi: Former captain Rashid Latif had warned of ‘spot-fixing’ in Pakistan cricket seven years ago in a letter to the ICC but instead of taking any action, his Board gave him a dressing down for writing directly to the world governing body.
In 2003, Latif wrote to the ICC warning them to be prepared for a fresh onslaught from bookmakers to introduce ‘spot-fixing’ in international cricket.
Seven years down the line, what Latif had predicted has come true after the ICC and London metropolitan police confirmed the arrest of a 35-year old Pakistani man who allegedly paid money to some Pakistani players for spot fixing during the ongoing fourth test at Lords against England.
Interestingly, Latif had also named a few players in his captain’s report to the Pakistan Cricket Board after a series in England as potential targets for bookmakers.
Latif played a central role in exposing the menace of match-fixing in international cricket in the mid 1990s and his allegations later led to an inquiry by the board and resulted in a life ban on Salim Malik and fines on five other players.
“The fact is that the authorities have never tried to seriously root out corruption from cricket. Players who were involved in fixing in the 90’s were let off without any action being taken against them despite presence of circumstantial evidence,” former Pakistan batsman, Basit Ali said.
Both Latif and Basit announced their retirement in protest while touring Zimbabwe with the Pakistan team in 1994/95 when Malik was captain.
“What happened? we paid for telling the truth by having our cricket careers damaged by the authorities,” Basit said.
Former Pakistan captain Aamir Sohail said the board didn’t reward nor supported players who were willing to speak out against corruption in the sport.
“All that happened in the 90s what is happening now is a spin off of that. If the authorities had taken a strong stand then, this wouldn’t be happening now,” Sohail said.