The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) perhaps didn’t want to have a Pakistan-like situation.
To send a strong message with regards to spot fixing, the BCCI came down hard on the players — TP Sudhindra (life ban), Shalabh Srivastava (five years), Mohnish Mishra, Amit Yadav and Abhinav Bali (one year each) — for their involvement in spot fixing in domestic cricket.
The decision to ban the offending players has got a thumbs up from across the border (Pakistan), who perhaps know better how it feels to have players on the wrong side of the sporting law. In 2010, a spot fixing scandal involved three Pakistan players — then skipper Salman Butt, ace swing bowler Mohammad Asif and rookie pacer Mohammad Amir, all of whom have spent time in jail after being charged by British officials.
Mohsin Khan, the former Pakistan opener and until recently PCB’s chief selector and interim coach, congratulated the Indian board for taking stern action against their erring players.
On Saturday, former India medium-pacer Madan Lal, who coached Sudhindra, cited Pakistan’s example while reacting to the Board’s decision to ban the Madhya Pradesh bowler for life. “Had BCCI not taken a tough call, India could have faced situations like Pakistan which is unwanted,” Madan Lal had said in these columns.
“I admire the Indian cricket board for their decision to ban one player for life and suspend the others for a limited period. Being a powerful body, BCCI have to lead by example and that is exactly what they have done in this case,” Mohsin told MiD DAY yesterday.
Moreover, Mohsin urged all cricket boards to take similar decisions to eradicate the evil forces. “I will appeal to all boards across the cricketing world to take similar action on any player — be it at the national or grassroot level — who resorts to dishonesty. No one has the right to play with the emotions of cricket fans,” he said.
The former opener also felt that India has never stayed away from coming down hard on players who sully the country’s name. “It happened during Hansie Cronje’s time when few Indian players were shown the door. At that time, BCCI took a strong stance and that’s why their cricket has improved in leaps and bounds thereafter.
“I would also praise the role of Cricket South Africa for their strong measures then,” Mohsin said.
On whether it’s time for the PCB to follow BCCI’s lead in strong punitive action, the former selector stayed away from being diplomatic. “It should have been done some 15 years ago to save the country the blushes following the spot fixing scandal,” he said.
However, Mohsin was happy with the PCB’s recent efforts to clean the sport. “I appreciate PCB’s way of operating in this issue. They have taken a serious note of the last incident (spot fixing scandal) and are taking all precaution to get rid of this rubbish once and for all,” Mohsin added.