Pakistan talented enough to ride out scandal: Ramiz
"For me credibility and integrity are the main issues and there is a need to draw a line between whether we want suspicious players or we just want talented players," Ramiz Raja has said.cricket Updated: Dec 12, 2010 19:00 IST
Former captain Ramiz Raja said on Sunday Pakistan have the talent to ride out a spot-fixing scandal engulfing the national game.
"For me credibility and integrity are the main issues and there is a need to draw a line between whether we want suspicious players or we just want talented players," Raja, also a member of the International Cricket Council's Pakistan task team, told AFP.
Pakistan cricket's image took a devastating knock when Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer were provisionally suspended by the ICC on charges of spot-fixing during team's Lord's Test against England in August.
The trio, suspected of contriving deliberate no-balls for money from an alleged bookie, appear before a ICC anti-corruption tribunal in Doha, Qatar, from January 6-11 and face severe punishment, including possible lengthy bans.
Several other players including Kamran Akmal, Shoaib Malik and Danish Kaneria were not cleared for selection by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) because of past allegations of fixing against them.
The ICC also directed the PCB to take serious measures to curb corruption, threatening sanctions.
The PCB subsequently introduced a new code of conduct with stricter punishment for graft and launched corruption awareness courses at domestic level.
"Pakistan has enough talent to overcome the jolts (of the players' suspension) and I would say that captain Shahid Afridi must avail the available talent in the team for next year's World Cup," said Raja.
"Different individuals react differently to situations. Like, if you throw money on the table some individuals will take that but those who have been properly guided will refuse it," he added.
Raja said foreign teams would only play Pakistan if credibility were restored.
"Pakistan is now seen as a controversial team and unless the credibility is restored, a task which the PCB is addressing, this will remain a big problem for Pakistan," said Raja, who played 57 Tests and 198 one-day for Pakistan between 1984-1997.