Pak to vet cricketers' agents, India prefers to ignore them
One of the repercussions of agent-cum-bookie Mazhar Majeed being caught in a News of the World sting, which showed him claiming to be able to manipulate players and fix games for money, has been salutary: all cricketers' agents will now have to be certified by the Pakistan Cricket Board. HT reports. See cartooncricket Updated: Sep 11, 2010 02:50 IST
One of the repercussions of agent-cum-bookie Mazhar Majeed being caught in a News of the World sting, which showed him claiming to be able to manipulate players and fix games for money, has been salutary: all cricketers' agents will now have to be certified by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
But despite references to Indian bookies by Majeed during the sting, no similar effort to vet agents is being contemplated by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
The PCB, deeply shaken by the spot-fixing controversy, said late on Thursday every cricketer selected for any squad (local or international) would need written approval from the Board before engaging an agent or manager.
"Failure to comply will result in the player being declared ineligible for selection in any of the domestic and international events under the control of PCB," said a PCB release.
Further, agents wanting certification will have to give the PCB details of players they want to represent, the scope of representation, copies of their player contracts and their own background data.
If the agent is foreign, the PCB will ask the Pakistan high commission in the agent's country of origin to do a background check, if he is Pakistani, the local police will vet him.
Yet in India, the official line seems to be that agents don't exist.
"The Board has nothing to do with any agent. All the Board's correspondence, including that for the IPL, is directly with the player," Niranjan Shah, the Indian Premier League's vice-chairman and a former Indian cricket board (BCCI) secretary, told Hindustan Times.
"We do not recognise any agent."
"In any case, why should we register agents," asked another Board of Control for Cricket in India official who did not want to be identified.
"How can we prevent the players' right to conduct free trade?"
Asked if the BCCI wasn't concerned about the number of moneyed men who had free access to players, especially impressionable youngsters, during events like the Indian Premier League, he said they weren't.
The fact that 80 per cent of all the money in cricket, both legal and illegal, comes from India, or the fact that most law enforcement agencies believe India has a flourishing betting syndicate also wasn't an issue for the Board.
"Just because the Pakistan players have been caught doesn't mean our players are corrupt, so why should we have a knee-jerk reaction? Our players are mature enough to know what is right and wrong and if they aren't, they will face the consequences. But these things don't happen in India," said the official.