Karachi, April 21 (IANS) Pakistan great Zaheer Abbas on Tuesday said corruption has been there in Pakistan cricket for far too long and has damaged the sport as much in the country as the 2009 attack on the Sri Lankan team.

The Pakistan Cricket Board has asked the government to frame a law that would criminalise match-fixing and spot-fixing in cricket.

“It is the right thing to do for the Pakistan board because for too long, we have been soft while dealing with corruption cases and these have led to a string of scandals which badly damaged our image and also hurt our cricket’s progress,” Abbas said.

“If the militant attack on the Sri Lankan team bus dealt a big blow to Pakistan cricket as we were forced to play away from home, these corruption scandals have not been less damaging to our cricket over the years,” he added.

Asked to comment on that, he said: “In the end it is Pakistan cricket which suffered as we lost good players and more importantly we sent out the wrong message to cricketers and even those who try to lure, entice and corrupt players.”

Abbas said no one should be spared as corruption is the worst thing a cricketer can do.

“I say spare no one because this is the worst thing a cricketer can do to his country, team and sports,” Abbas said.

“I have already spoken to the government about this because other cricket playing nations like Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka have enacted laws that make match-fixing a criminal offence,” PCB chairman Ehsan Mani said in a podcast shared on their social media handles recently.

The PCB had closely followed the procedure adopted by the Sri Lankan board, Mani said, while legislating its law against match-fixers.

Recently, former Pakistan captain and decorated commentator Ramiz Raja has said tainted players like left-arm pacer Mohammed Amir should not be allowed to play.

Pakistan batting great Javed Miandad had also said that cricketers involved in match-fixing should be hanged.

Recently, left-handed opener Sharjeel was offered another chance to play for the national team after completing a two and a half year ban for spot-fixing in the Pakistan Super League.

–IANS

dm/bbh

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