Raja urges Pakistan PM to pass legislation to impose life bans on guilty players

PCB suspended Umar Akmal pending an anti-corruption inquiry amid claims that he failed to report a spot-fixing approach in the Pakistan Super League.

Umar Akmal was suspended hours before his PSL team Quetta Gladiators was to take on Islamabad in the opening match of the 2020 edition. (FILE IMAGE)   -  AP

Deeply anguished by the latest corruption scandal that has rocked Pakistan cricket, former skipper Ramiz Raja on Thursday urged Prime Minister Imran Khan to carry out a legislation to impose life bans on guilty players.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Thursday suspended Umar Akmal pending an anti-corruption inquiry amid claims that he failed to report a spot-fixing approach in the Pakistan Super League (PSL).

READ | PCB suspends Umar Akmal amid pending anti-corruption investigation

“I am gutted today it just seems like the Sharjeel and Khalid Latif incident took place yesterday and now this,” Raja told reporters here.

“It makes me so angry that this keeps on happening in Pakistan cricket. I would definitely like to see some legislation in parliament imposing a uniform punishment for guilty players.”

The former Test skipper said that the PCB should talk to its patron-in-chief, Imran Khan and request him to pass some legislation in parliament to deal with corruption in cricket.

“We have to have laws like New Zealand and some other countries have done ensuring players found guilty of corrupting the game are no longer allowed a chance back,” said the cricketer-turned commentator.

Ramiz said for years he has been saying this but it just keeps on happening.

“There is so much technology nowadays that if someone has made up his mind to do corrupt the game he will do it. The thing to do is ensure if he is caught he is made an example for others.”

The 57-year-old, who had vociferously spoken against allowing Salman Butt, Mohammad Aamir and Mohammad Asif back into cricket after they served their spot-fixing bans, said such incidents only hurt the sport and image of Pakistan cricket.

“Cricket is one thing that binds the people of Pakistan and no one should be allowed to soil it,” he said.

Ramiz said he had no sympathies for Umar as he was a mature person who was responsible for his actions.

He also urged the PCB to start a system of collecting all financial back ground date on players, officials and their families to know what is going on.

Besides Ramiz, other former Pakistan stalwarts have also been rocked by the latest corruption scandal to hit Pakistan cricket at the start of the PSL.

In early 2017, Pakistan players, Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif were sent back from Dubai after being found guilty of breaching the Anti-Corruption code but while Latif is still serving a 10-year ban, Sharjeel is playing for Karachi Kings in the PSL five after serving a two-half year ban.

Former Test opener Mohsin Khan said he was very disappointed over the Umar Akmal incident.

"What is wrong with these players they earn so much and are still not satisfied. We didn’t earn that much but we rejected such offers. Umar should have reported the offer made to him immediately to concerned authorities,” he said.

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