|Event:||Pakistan in England 2010|
DateLine: 7th September 2010
The man who blew the whistle against corruption in cricket, Rashid Latif is of the view that cricket laws are indeed facilitating fixers to find various ways of betting. “Seven years back, I proposed to the ICC to change the rule of fielding restriction in ODIs, however they introduced power plays instead, which encouraged fancy or spot fixing even further. I would suggest a uniform fielding restrictions right from the beginning till the last over of a match to curtail fixing”, said Rashid Latif while talking to this correspondent for News One TV
Rashid Latif said that the menace of fixing is not just in cricket but in other sports such tennis, football and horse racing too. He said it’s almost impossible to completely eradicate the malpractice, however alteration in laws could surely minimise it a great deal. “Like in the past why can’t we put four fielders in the ring throughout an ODI. In fact the first two world cups (1975 & 1979) were played under the same rule. By the introduction of power-play, I got an impression that people in the ICC’s technical committee also don’t want this misconduct to stop”, claims Rashid Latif
On a question, Rashid Latif came down hard on the Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU), saying that the presence of former police personnel in the unit is not serving the real purpose. “These ex-policemen must have been very good in their field, but cricket is a different ball game altogether and only a cricketer can see an irregularity during a match. Let’s suppose if an explosive batsman plays a maiden over of an average bowler, even then the ACSU wouldn’t do anything because their knowledge of the game is zero. Also they don’t have the right to conduct raids or arrest people, what they only do it to ask players to avoid suspicious people. All in all, the unit is toothless as their recourses are limited”, said Latif who played 37 Test matches for Pakistan
Without mincing a word Rashid Latif said that the possibility of cricket boards’ involvement in fixing can’t be ruled out. “I doubt the sincerity of cricket boards and the ICC to put a lid on this wrongdoing. One can’t do it without the support of a board official and if ICC is not making tough laws then their role gets dubious as well”, said Latif
Rashid Latif along with Basit announced their retirement in protest while touring Zimbabwe with the Pakistan team in 1994/95 when Salim Malik was captain. Later, 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.
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
Copyright © 2010 Muhammad Asif Khan)