Twenty20 WC: Cheema not worried about bookies
Lahore: The Pakistan team management has worked out a comprehensive mechanism to ensure that the national team players steer clear of any spot-fixing controversies during the forthcoming Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka.
Pakistan team manager, Naved Cheema has said that the management was not worried with media reports about some leading bookmakers targeting the World Cup and having already assembled in Sri Lanka for the mega-event that begins from September 18.
"We are not bothered by such reports," Cheema told the `Express Tribune` newspaper.
"This is because we have done our homework and prepared well to avoid such threats. Our defined SOPs and precautions are flawless and by following this effectively, no untoward episode can happen," he said.
Cheema said players had already been given anti-corruption literature and briefings and were aware of the consequences of any attempt to violate the SOPs laid down by the management.
"It stops players from hanging out with strangers. The early curfew and the restriction on using social networking sites will also help. Our security manager [Col Waseem Ahmed] is experienced and will be at the helm of monitoring players. Emphasis has been put on younger players as well," he said.
"Players are aware of the menace. They are better educated about the threat through the lectures against corruption. The players discipline has been perfect for the past few months. They`re focused on their performance and the team management is hopeful they will not indulge in any controversy," Cheema added.
Pakistan cricket has been at the centre of spot-fixing scandals since 2010 when three players, Salman Butt, Muhammad Asif and Muhammad Aamir were caught in a fixing scandal after the fourth Test against England at the Lord`s.
The trio were first banned by the anti-corruption tribunal of the ICC and than given jail sentences by a Crown Court in London the same year. Butt and Aamir have returned to Lahore after completing their jail terms while Asif has remained back in London after being released from jail.
Few months back, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) disciplinary panel banned Pakistan`s Test leg-spinner, Danish Kaneria for life from playing in England after finding him guilty of a fixing scam.
The leg-spinner has appealed against the life ban but the PCB has also suspended him from playing in Pakistan until his appeal is decided.
The PCB faced more problems last month when discarded Test wicketkeeper, Zulqarnain Haider made comments on his facebook page accusing the board of recalling Kamran Akmal to the national team without any clearance from the ICC.
The board, in turn, has issued a showcause notice to Haider to back his claims of corrupt elements in the Pakistan team or face disciplinary action.