Image courtesy of: Zimbio
In 2010, Pakistan were left embarrassed and humiliated after three of their players – Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir – were involved in a spot-fixing scandal in a Test match against England at Lord’s.
Fast forward to 2017 and the country is reliving the nightmare all over again as an investigation into a corruption scandal regarding the Pakistan Super League (PSL) has unveiled more national players trying to sully the sport.
Islamabad United duo Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif, both of whom have represented Pakistan recently, have been formally charged for their involvement in the scandal, while out-of-favour opener Nasir Jamshed was arrested in the United Kingdom with another individual and released on bail.
Having to witness another scandal taint his nation and the sport he loves, Pakistan and Islamabad United captain Misbah-ul-Haq is a man currently experiencing a heavy dose of heartache as he simply cannot believe what has transpired.
“Nobody wants Pakistan and Pakistani players to be associated with fixing again,” he told ESPNcricinfo. “After six years of hard work such things happening again is a matter of great concern and disappointment. I am really disappointed. But, I think whenever such things happen, you have got to be very strong to face them.
“Forget about the individuals who are responsible and try to make sure that things are not happening again; move forward, try to perform better, try to be disciplined and improve the reputation around the world.”
Following what occurred in England nearly seven years ago, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) did everything in their power to stop such a thing happening again. From lectures prior to series and tours to written guidelines in Urdu, the board has done it all to try and stop the rot from spreading once and for all.
But, it seems as if their efforts have gone in vain due to the situation involving Sharjeel, Latif and Jamshed.
To make matters worse, Shajeel was on the verge of establishing himself as a vital player for Pakistan as he had been excelling in ODI cricket and was rewarded with a Test debut against Australia in Sydney in January.
Misbah admitted that Islamabad United have been heavily affected by Sharjeel and Latif’s actions, but as leader, the 42-year-old knows he has to put on a brave face and try and help his side retain the PSL trophy.
“It obviously affects you when your match-winners and best players go down, but then, there are other boys on the bench raring to go in, and they are equally good,” Misbah said. “There are tough situations, but it’s about the environment and the winning habit so that it doesn’t matter who comes and goes.
“The boys take inspiration from every win. They are building up, they are getting the confidence, and with couple of victories, we have a way forward in this PSL. They know their roles, they are always ready to chip in and win us games. Our squad is capable enough to retain the title this year.”