Salim Malik is the only Pakistani cricketer who served life ban for match fixing. He said that cricket and other sports can never be rid of corruption.
“These fixing matters they can never be completely eradicated from cricket or other sports,” Malik told PTI in an interview.
“They can be curtailed at the most because these people who want to make easy money from cricket will always come up with new ways to target players and officials and make them greedy,” he said.
Malik, 54, was banned for life in 2000 on the recommendation of the Justice (retd) Malik Qayyum inquiry commissions into match-fixing in Pakistan cricket.
Malik, who was later acquitted from the Supreme Court after appealing against the ban in a long drawn out of the legal process, said that the anti-corruption and security units set up by the International Cricket Council (ICC) and its member boards were also not enough to eradicate the menace of fixing.
“I think the ICC and member boards can make their anti-corruption units more effective by including some high profile and well reputed former players on their units.
Because only a top player has the experience to detect anything wrong in a match,” he said.
“Former police or intelligence officials who work with the ICC and member boards don’t have the cricketing acumen or background to immediately notice something suspicious in a match only a cricketer can do that,” he added.
The former Pakistan captain, who played 103 Tests and 283 one-day internationals before his ban, said there would always be players who could fall prey to greed.
“It is human nature the best way to further curb this menace is to have more stringent laws to deal with the corrupt.”
Malik said he didn’t feel there was any noticeable decline in fixing attempts by corrupt gamblers and bookmakers in the last decade or so and referred to the recent fixing issues in New Zealand and Sri Lankan cricket and in the expanding T20 leagues.
Malik also claimed that the Supreme Court in its ruling on his appeal had observed that no life ban was ever imposed on him in the first place since the Justice Qayyum had made a recommendation and further investigations should have been carried out by the board.
“For the last one and half years I have sent copies of the court order to the Pakistan board asking them to give me clearance to resume my ties with cricket at any level but they are not responding at all.”
He said that he couldn’t approach the ICC directly on the matter since they said a player in such a case must come through proper channels.
Malik also lamented that the PCB had never tried to educate or protect its players properly against fixing attempts.
“Look at India they have protected their players despite allegations cropping up. The PCB should never have allowed Salman Butt, Mohammad Aamir, Mohammad Asif or even Danish Kaneria to be tried in the United Kingdom.”
“These players should have been punished by the PCB at home.”