Misbah-ul-Haq has called for life bans on any cricketer found guilty of corruption, adding that an investigation into five players for fixing in the recent Pakistan Super League threatened years of work to clean up the country’s image.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have provisionally suspended Sharjeel Khan, Khalid Latif, Mohammad Irfan, Shahzaib Hasan and Nasir Jamshed on charges linked to spot fixing and failure to report approaches by bookmakers during the PSL.
The case, which is being investigated by a judicial commission, has revived memories of a 2010 scandal that involved the national team and deprived it of three top players including Mohammad Amir, who has since made a comeback.
Misbah was appointed captain in the aftermath of that tainted series in England, and set about rebuilding the team with an ethos that emphasised discipline and integrity. His team steadily climbed the world rankings and rose briefly to No. 1 last year.
Speaking about the latest suspensions to reporters on Sunday (March 19), Misbah said, “Obviously it’s disappointing and there should be a law that once you have done something wrong you should not return to this field again.”
Pakistan’s rehabilitation on the international circuit appeared to be complete last year when Misbah led the team on its first tour of England since the 2010 scandal, in a series praised for its sportsmanship. Misbah, 42, was subsequently awarded the International Cricket Council’s Spirit of Cricket award – testament to the high regard in which world cricket held him.
“We did our best to clean the game up and the seven years of hard work and our image is now spoilt to a great extent. You cannot afford this again and again,” he said.
Earlier this month, Misbah shelved plans to retire and will now lead the Test team in next month’s three-match series in the West Indies starting on April 22. Pakistan are desperate for a turnaround after suffering whitewashes in their last two series.
“It will be a tough series and we will not take West Indies lightly because they gave us a tough time in all three Tests last year,” said Misbah of Pakistan’s 2-1 win in the United Arab Emirates. “The conditions there will be tough and the ball will spin so you can’t relax.”
Pakistan will play four Twenty20 Internationals and three One-Day Internationals against West Indies before the Tests.