|Event:||Pakistan in England 2010|
DateLine: 7th September 2010
Former Pakistan pace bowler Mohammad Zahid feels that there are more as yet un-named Pakistani players that need to investigated by the ACSU.
Speaking to PakPassion.net ; Zahid stated "There are more rotten eggs in the Pakistani setup and those rotten eggs need to be fully investigated by the cricketing authorities. At this moment three players are involved in the spot fixing controversy and another player is being investigated, but I think there are others, as yet un-named."
Whilst most observers of the game were surprised by some of the names that are linked to the spot fixing issue, Zahid who is currently playing league cricket in England and represented Pakistan on sixteen occasions before his career was cut short by injury stated that he wasn't surprised by the three names that have come out.
"I wasn't surprised when the three names came out. Salman Butt was a decent guy. I trained with him quite a lot in his early days and I was very impressed with his attitude, but it seems that perhaps he has been mixing with the wrong crowd if the allegations are to be believed."
Zahid's first class career in Pakistan spanned 14 years and he has played alongside and against a number of the current Pakistan squad who are currently in England, and he is of the opinion that the players will most probably have instigated any fixing activity.
"The players want to make quick and big money. I think they will have instigated any dealings with a bookie. I don't think the ICC should be at all lenient with the players, irrespective of age and experience. If any of the players have been involved in this wrongdoing, then they should get a life ban. The ICC needs to set a precedent and ensure that their punishment is a lesson for young players to not to get involved in such activities."
Zahid who is widely regarded as one of the fastest bowlers in the history of cricket is shocked that the issue of spot fixing has only really come to the fore now.
"Match fixing has been going on in the game for a very long time. It's not just been a Pakistani problem but an intenational one, and the authorities should really have looked into the problem a lot earlier. Spot fixing is a more recent invention after match fixing became more difficult to instigate, but I think that match fixing was prevalent in Pakistani cricket circles more so in the 90s."
Zahid who took eleven wickets on test debut against New Zealand expressed his dismay and embarrassment at seeing Pakistan cricket in the headlines yet again for all the wrong reasons.
"The headlines are embarrassing and painful for all cricket lovers and especially for Pakistanis wherever they are in the world. As a former Pakistani international cricketer, I am particularly dismayed and disappointed with the ongoing situation. I've had friends ringing me up from all over the world asking me what's going on and it's heartbreaking to watch the news and read the newspapers. Cricket should have made the back pages this summer, not the front pages. The most painful aspect of the fixing issue is that Pakistan is in dire straits at the moment, with the floods and the negative publicity regarding terrorism. The last thing that Pakistan needed at this time is more negativity in the press from the cricketers."
Zahid blamed greed as the only reason for the Pakistani cricketers allegedly getting themselves involved in fixing.
"I don't buy the excuse of naivety, or that the players were not aware that they would be the target of illegal approaches from bookies. The players are reminded of their responsibilities by the ACSU every few months. When I started playing, the anti corruption reminders were not very regular, but these days they are on top of it. The simple reason for it is greed. In fact I would say that the players knew that they would be caught one day, they must have known that. I guess that their approach has been to allegedly make enough money from these activities, before they get caught. The sort of money that is being mentioned would mean that the players could make the same amount of money from a couple of illegal approaches as they would from 10 or so years of domestic and international cricket for Pakistan."
Zahid who featured for PIA and Pakistan Customs during his playing days in domestic cricket stated that the Pakistan Cricket Board should have gone further in their implementations of the Justice Qayyum Report, and had they done so, Pakistan cricket would not be in the situation it finds itself in.
"The Qayyum report was literally brushed under the carpet. Had some of the recommendations made in that report and the subsequent discussions that were held been implemented, especially regarding personnel and responsibility, I'm sure that Pakistan cricket would not be in the mess that it finds itself in."
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