Lahore, Apr 11 : Former Pakistan cricketers Sarfraz Nawaz and Rashid Latif have warned that those playing in private Indian leagues would be vulnerable to match fixing offers because their national honour would not be at stake in such leagues. They said that these leagues should be closely monitored because big money are involved.
Rashid Latif is considered as one of the first whistle blowers about match fixing, when in 1995 he claimed that some players were involved in the malpractice. "Fancy fixing, and other methods are being used to corrupt players and it still exists in cricket," he said while stressing that match fixing still existed in the game.
Their comments assume significance in the backdrop of recent revelations by Pakistan's banned fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar that he was offered money to under perform in South Africa in 2003 and in India. In this regard, an ICC official quizzed Akhtar and three other Pakistani players - Younis Khan, Danish Kaneria and Umar Gul - last week to seek specific information.
Nawaz said the ICC was not serious about stopping match fixing. "I have given a lot of information on fixing to the ICC but they are not serious in stopping the rot. Now, through the various private leagues which offer millions of dollars, this menace will boom," The News quoted Nawaz as saying.
He said the ICC-recognised multi-billion-dollar Indian Premier League (IPL), which starts on April 18, should be monitored. "Millions of dollars are spent on this league, and I see an open field for bookmakers to fix matches and the players will be approached to lose matches. There should be some serious monitoring on that," he added.
The former paceman also said the ICC had double standards in recognising the IPL and ruling a rival faction, the ICL, unauthorised. "I think boards of the country are getting big money and that is why they have allowed their players to feature in the IPL and have banned players who joined the other league," said Nawaz.
Former Pakistan captain Latif said players would be vulnerable to corruption in private leagues. "Players are more likely to fall prey to corruption in private leagues as the national honour is not at stake there, so IPL people must monitor it seriously," said Latif.
Speaking on the recent episode involving Akhtar, he blamed the ICC for not providing support to the players who reveal facts about fixing and demanded support for the fast bowler. "They are questioning Akhtar for not disclosing the offers (made) to him but why should any player come forward and reveal details about offers from bookies," the former wicketkeeper added.