What’s the story?
Pakistan cricket has been rocked by many match-fixing scandals over the years. The focus was firmly placed back on corruption in the game during the second edition of the Pakistan Super League. No less than 5 players were found guilty of being involved in fixing during the league.
Misbah, who has been one of the stalwarts of the Pakistan cricket team has seen a number of youngsters lose their way over the years. The 42-year-old, however, believes there is no place for fixers in the game whatsoever and that they deserve to be banned for life.
"Those players found to be involved in spot-fixing should be banned for life. We are very disappointed this happened. It appears that the [positive] image for Pakistan cricket we had strived to build for the past seven years has been wasted" he said while speaking to Cricbuzz.
The PSL was tainted by the involvement of 5 players – Sharjeel Khan, Khalid Latif, Nasir Jamshed, Mohammad Irfan and Shahzaib Hasan in a matchfixing scandal. This is not the first time that the country has been affected by corruption.
At the end of the England tour in 2010, Mohammad Amir, Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif were implicated in a spotfixing fiasco. While Amir has since made his comeback for the international side, Asif and Butt were never recalled.
The quantum of punishment for fixing is currently decided on a case-by-case basis. For example, while a life ban was imposed on India’s S Sreesanth (by the BCCI) for his involvement during IPL’s spot-fixing scandal, the youngster Mohammad Amir was banned for 5 years considering his age during the incident.
Misbah, believes, that nothing but a lifetime ban will serve as appropriate punishment for the perpetrators. Over the years, Hansie Crojne, Mohammad Azharuddin, Saleem Malik, Danish Kaneria and Sreesanth are some of the cricketers who have been slapped with life bans.
Of those involved in the PSL, 3 cricketers were suspended for a minimum of 5 years, one of them got away with a 6 months ban and the other is yet to be suspended. Apart from the fixing scandal, the league was a success and they even managed to stage the final in Lahore.
Certainly strong words from Misbah-ul-Haq. Voicing his opinion about such a controversial topic would have taken some courage and he has even presented an extreme view as punishment. It remains unlikely that all cricketers will be served with life bans, and the current method of dealing each case differently will likely stay the same for years to come.