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PCB has failed to educate players on spot-fixing: Mani

Former International Cricket Council president Ehsan Mani today said the Pakistan Cricket Board has failed to convey ICC's anti-corruption message to its players.

cricket Updated: Sep 14, 2010 19:29 IST

Former International Cricket Council (ICC) president Ehsan Mani on Tuesday said the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has failed to convey ICC's anti-corruption message to its players.

Mani said Pakistan cricketers would not have been prone to spot-fixing had the PCB timely educated them on the menace.

"We have to be honest. There has been a failure in the system in Pakistan here and certainly Pakistan should be accountable to the ICC to explain how it's gone so wrong," Mani told The Wisden Cricket Magazine.

"When players first come into the international game, they are given a one-to-one induction by the ICC on how they might be compromised. But the Pakistan board is clearly not getting the message through to its players," said Mani.

"The onus is on the PCB to explain how players under its control could behave like this."

Mani, who led the world governing body as president from 2003 to 2006 and was also Pakistan's representative to the ICC for seven years, said he was "very sad, disappointed and hurt" as the corruption allegations involving Pakistani players emerged during the Lord's Test match against England.

He dismissed the defence put forward by some that Pakistan's cricketers are among the worst paid on the international circuit.

"All cricketers round the world get paid well. Even Pakistani players are exceedingly well paid relative to the standard of living in their country. There is no excuse to indulge in corruption apart from sheer greed. There are cultural issues."

"If a player comes from a very under-privileged background and makes the big time, he needs a lot of mentoring, a lot of support and education."

"Players need to be educated about the ethics of cricket, the values of the game, the bigger things that this great game is about. Without that, it's so easy for them to get sidetracked."

With India acting as the global hub of illegal betting on cricket, Mani said time is right for the ICC to ask the Indian government to legalise gambling.

"From what I understand, whenever India play a one-day match $200m to $300m will be bet," said Mani.

"The ICC's anti-corruption unit works very closely with the bookmakers in countries where gambling is legal. So when there is a sudden change in the direction of the odds, it is quickly on to it."

"But in grey markets like India, where it is totally unregulated, the corruption unit's intelligence can only ever be superficial. So this is the time for the ICC to say to the Indian government that you have to bring this into the loop."

"In Pakistan, one might argue it is against their religious beliefs but, if it is happening anyway, the pragmatic approach has to be taken. This is hurting the credibility not only of the game but of India and Pakistan," he said.

First Published: Sep 14, 2010 19:28 IST