I see that former ICC member Ehsan Mani of Pakistan is demanding the resignation of Ijaz Butt, blaming Butt and the PCB for their part in (as he calls it) the end of the careers of the three players suspended today.
Ultimately the three players took the bait themselves, there can be no doubt about that and they have to take a good look at themselves and accept responsibility for their own actions. But I do believe that the PCB must also accept their fair share of the blame.
Afterall it happened under their supervision. It also happen under Ijaz Butt’s watch. Can Butt and the PCB really claim to have done as much as possible to prevent this?
The answer is clearly no. Otherwise why did ICC feel the need to issue them with a stern warning last October and tell them to toughen up their attitude towards corruption?
If this happened in England, I’m sure that the top brass at the ECB would be expected to fall on their swords – although looking at the current incumbents and their track records, I’m not 100% sure they would.
Imran Khan has repeatedly called for change at the top of Pakistan cricket, maybe this is the incident to finally make people there wake up and rid the PCB of all the dead wood and to start running it like a professional organisation.
They have a chance now to wipe the slate clean and show that they are serious about stamping corruption out. Lets hope they take it.
World cricket needs Pakistan, but not as much as Pakistan needs world cricket.
A decent Pakistan team that people believed in, with the raw talent they have at their disposal would make world cricket a far better and stronger place.
But people would have to be able to believe in them, believe what they are watching to be true, as without that trust we have no game.
This has been a shameful event for cricket, I will never forget the sight of Michael Holding all but breaking down in tears live on Sky Sports while discussing this scandal the day it broke.
Here was a cricketing legend, a big strong minded guy, reduced to tears about what was happening to the game he loves. It was an awful sight.
The most worrying aspect of all this, is that some people still don’t seem to get it. I have already read a report where people in Pakistan are claiming that the three are totally innocent. In fact reading the remarks made by a couple of the lawyers, I’m not sure that the tribunal totally get it either.
The fact that the tribunal wrote in it’s report that it recommended to the ICC certain changes to the Code with a view to providing flexibility in relation to minimum sentences in exceptional circumstances, is worrying. So far this has already given two of the lawyers the belief that their clients would have got leaner sentences had they had the power to do so.
They have all basically got the minimum 5 year tariffs, never mind the headline grabing 10 years ban for Salman Butt, he could be back playing in another four and a half years.
Rather than being thankful that they didn’t get the worst case scenarios of life bans, they would appear to be off the opinion that they have been treated harshly. So far Amir’s lawyer has already come out and said he will appeal, Butt’s has intimated that he will also do so. How long before Asif as well? Unbelievable.