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PCB Not Getting Anti-Curruption Message Across - Mani

PCB Not Getting Anti-Curruption Message Across - Mani
PCB Not Getting Anti-Curruption Message Across - Mani
©REUTERS/Anwar Mirza AM/SA Reuters / Picture supplied by Action Images

Ehsan Mani, a former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) representative and International Cricket Council (ICC) President, says that the PCB is not doing enough to educate its players about corruption in the game.

His comments follow the suspension, by the ICC, of Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt, who stand accused of spot-fixing during the fourth Test against England at Lord's.

"When players first come into the international game, they are given a one-to-one induction {by the ICC} on how they might be compromised," he said in an interview with The Wisden Cricketer.

"But the Pakistan board is clearly not getting the message through to its players. The onus is on the PCB to explain how players under its control could behave like this.”

Mani rejected the suggestion that Pakistan players were easier targets than others because of their levels of pay.

“All cricketers round the world get paid well. Even Pakistani players are exceedingly well paid relative to the standard of living in their country. There is no excuse [for corruption] apart from sheer greed. There are cultural issues. If a player comes from a very under-privileged background and makes the big time, he needs a lot of mentoring, a lot of support and education.

"Players need to be educated about the ethics of cricket, the values of the game, the bigger things that this great game is about. Without that, it’s so easy for them to get sidetracked. We have to be honest – there has been a failure in the system in Pakistan here and certainly Pakistan should be accountable to the ICC to explain how it’s gone so wrong.”

And he called on the ICC to invite the Indian government to legalise betting, a move he believes would help reduce the possibility of corruption creeping into the game.

“From what I understand, whenever India play a one-day match $200m to $300m will be bet,” he tells the magazine. “The ACSU works very closely with the bookmakers in countries where gambling is legal. So when there is a sudden change in the direction of the odds, it is quickly on to it. But in the grey markets, particularly India, where it is totally unregulated, the ACSU’s intelligence can only ever be superficial.

"So this is the time for the ICC to say to the Indian government that you have to bring this into the loop. I don’t know why it hasn’t happened as the government would make a lot of money out of it.

“In Pakistan one might argue it is against their religious beliefs but, if it is happening anyway, the pragmatic approach has to be taken. This is hurting the credibility not only of the game but of India and Pakistan.”

Mani served as ICC President between 2003 and 2006 and represented the PCB within the ICC from 1989 to 1996.

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