Karachi: The head of Pakistan Cricket Board’s media division Umar Farooq Kalson and board’s GM (International Cricket) Adnan Ali are under scanner after pictures and video footages emerged of the duo visiting a Colombo casino.
Both are in Colombo in official capacity as a part of the Pakistani contingent for the ongoing Asia Cup and visiting a gambling den is sure to attract attention of ICC’s Anti-Corruption Unit as it is one of the prohibited places as per code of conduct.
Many Pakistani fans on social media questioned how officials of the PCB could be so “immature” and “careless” as to indulge in gambling.
Many criticised the trend of many PCB officials going on to Colombo during the Asia Cup on official visits.
A PCB source said that at least 15-20 PCB officials had travelled o and fro between Colombo and Lahore while some were stationed there permanently as Pakistan was the official host of the Asia Cup.
After some Pakistani news channels ran headlines, the two officials in the Casino later clarified that they had only gone to the Casino to have dinner, a claim ridiculed by all and sundry on social media and also by some former test players.
“Who goes to a Casino to have food. Who goes to a gambling joint to have food. Who are they trying to fool,” cricket writer Omair Alavi said.
The source said the two PCB officials shouldn’t have gone to the Casino where gambling was taking place.
“They could face strict disciplinary action on return,” he added.
The PCB’s Cricket Management Committee, according to him, would be hard pressed to ignore the incident despite the clarification from the two officials.
Former Test opener Mohsin Khan also expressed surprise at the irresponsible behaviour of the two PCB officials to go to a Casino during the tournament.
Ironically during the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, Pakistan’s former captain Moin Khan who was manager and chief selector with the team, was called back to Pakistan in the middle of the tournament after he and his wife were spotted at a Casino in Christchurch before a match against West Indies.
Moin also claimed his innocence that they had gone to have dinner but the then PCB Chairman, Shaharyar Khan made it clear that Moin had breached the team’s and his contractual code of conduct.
Khan at that time had justified his strong action to recall and then sack Moin by pointing out that all PCB officials and players had to adhere to the board’s and ICC’s Anti-Corruption Code which strictly advised against visiting places where gambling takes place or there are increased chances of corruption.
Apparently one senior official was even given a dressing down by Jay Shah during a meeting in Pallekele.
The ACC chairman and BCCI supremo Shah apparently reacted strongly to some of the comments made by the PCB official at the meeting.