Fixing can be curtailed but not eradicated: Saleem Malik

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KARACHI - World’s first-ever cricketer to get a life ban for match-fixing, Saleem Malik, believes sports can never get rid of the menace of corruption.“These fixing matters can never be completely eradicated from cricket or other sports,” said Saleem, as quoted by the Press Trust of India. “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.”Saleem was banned for life in 2000 on the recommendation of the Justice (Retd) Malik Qayyum inquiry commission into match-fixing in Pakistan cricket.Malik, who later appealed against the ban and got a reprieve from the Supreme Court, said that the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) anti-corruption and security units are not enough to tackle the problem.“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.Saleem, who represented Pakistan in 103 Tests and 283 ODIs before he was banned, said greed will always win the day when easy money is involved. “It is human nature; the best way to further curb this menace is to have stricter laws,” he said.Saleem also criticised the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) role in educating young players against getting involved in illegal fixing activities. “Look at India. They have protected their players despite allegations cropping up,” concluded Saleem. “The PCB should never have allowed Salman Butt, M Aamir, M Asif or even Danish Kaneria to be tried in the United Kingdom. These players should have been punished by the PCB at home.”

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