Pak cricket`s domestic season hit by ball tampering

Karachi: Despite the introduction of stronger anti-corruption codes by the PCB, incidents of indiscipline, bad behavior and ball tampering are still in vogue in the ongoing domestic cricket season in Pakistan.

Pakistan’s discarded Test opener, Imran Nazir, was banned from playing in a Quaid-e-Azam Trophy match after he misbehaved with match referee, Ishtiaq Ahmed, during the last round match in Rawalpindi.

Nazir, who was leading the ZTBL team, was fined 10,000 rupees by the match referee for abusing Test leg-spinner, Danish Kaneria, but the opener was later slapped with a one-match ban after he confronted the referee in the car parking arena.

Incidents of ball tampering, senior players openly abusing the younger ones or challenging the decisions of the umpires have also been reported.

Sultan Rana, head of domestic cricket operations, said that the board had summoned reports from all the umpires and match referees about the reported incidents.

"We can only act when something is reported officially to us but because of the media reports, we have asked the umpires and referees to let us know the factual position. We, definitely, will not allow players to misbehave or do ball tampering," he said.

Post the introduction of a stricter anti-corruption code for domestic cricket, two players and an official have been fined for using mobile phones in the dressing room.

Sources, however, said that incidents of ball tampering were going unchecked because many of the umpires were reluctant to report teams that had senior players playing for them.

Former Test pacer, Sarfaraz Nawaz, said he had himself seen incidents of abuse and that more needs to be done.

Nawaz suggested that the Pakistan board should allow the use of two new cricket balls in domestic matches like it was done in the 1992 World Cup.

"What is happening is that sub-standard quality balls are being used in the domestic matches and they lose their shine and become rough after a few overs, so it is very difficult for umpires or referees to detect whether a player has tampered with the ball."

"The solution is to have better quality cricket balls and to also allow teams to start an innings with two new balls, which that would discourage use of ball-tampering tactics," Nawaz said.


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