Pakistan’s new ODI and T20 captain Sarfaraz Ahmad avoided speaking on the PSL spot-fixing scandal, which has rocked the cricket community, but admitted that the country’s cricket was going through tough times.
Terming the coming series in the West Indies as a big challenge for Pakistan cricket, the wicketkeeper-batsman told the media on the eve of the team’s departure for the Caribbean that the first target was to win the three match ODI series and qualify directly for the next World Cup.
“I don’t want to comment on the PSL issue but yes we are going through tough times and we need to do well in the coming series to boost our people,” he said.
He conceded that like in 2010 Pakistan cricket team would again have to do a lot to overcome the recent scandal, which has led to the suspension of five players.
During the tour of England in 2010, three players – then captain Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamir – were found involved in spot-fixing and banned for five-years.
Sarfaraz had earlier said that Pakistan would miss the services of opener Sharjeel Khan in the West Indies as he was suspended in connection with the spot-fixing scandal.
Head coach Mickey Arthur said while the PSL scandal and the involvement of his players was disappointing, one had to move on.
“Look what happened with Sharjeel and Khalid it is past now and although it is very disappointing one has to move ahead. Players need to take more responsibility, especially after this incident,” Arthur said.
He said he had no doubt in his mind that any player found involved in fixing didn’t have a place in cricket. “I feel upset and sad when I look at the bright future ahead of Sharjeel as he had made his place in all three formats and he was getting fitter. But greed is always bad in sports and it is hurting cricket,” he added.