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Exclusive – Khan: Pakistan government to blame for cricket crisis

Pakistan cricket legend Imran Khan has told talkSPORT he blames his country’s government for the betting scandal that’s rocked the sport.

The former Pakistan captain led his team to victory in the World Cup in 1992 and insists the men in charge of his country have to take responsibility for the shameful allegations that have devastated cricket in the past week.

Khan told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast: “Pakistan cricket reflects at a micro level what it has happening at a macro level in Pakistan, which is a collapse of institution.

“Cricket has not developed as an institution. It is run on an ad hoc basis and you can just imagine how ad hoc when the president of the country, who would normally know zero about cricket, appoints the chairman of the cricket board.

“So now the only qualification of the chairman is that the president has selected him.

“What you’re seeing right now is the shambles that is called our cricket board. And of course it’s reflected in the haphazard way the team is selected and the team’s discipline.

“And the result is what is happening right now with the awful humiliation of match fixing and spot fixing.”

The investigations into last week’s allegations continue, but Khan is in doubt that, if the accused are found guilty, the punishments must fit the crimes.

Khan, who retired from international cricket in 1992, added: “The first time these allegations came up was in 1993. I told the board then they should conduct a thorough investigation and that if there were key players involved they should take action.

“That would have set a precedent and we would not be in this position today.

“If these allegation are true there should be a suitable punishment. But they should make a distinction.

“Anyone found guilty of match fixing should be banned for life. Spot fixing should be a lesser crime but the message should go out that crime does not pay so there should be limited time ban and a fine to act as a deterrent.

“But you wonder what will happen after the investigation. If it’s proved these boys are guilty, it will open a Pandora’s box.

“People will wonder how much spot fixing goes on because it’s almost impossible to detect.”

 

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