Pakistan batting great Javed Miandad has called for an independent high-level inquiry to investigate how a media rights partner of the Pakistan Cricket Board could award live streaming rights of five PSL matches to a United Kingdom-based betting company, according to a report by Pakistan newspaper The Express Tribune.
“Pakistan is a cricket playing country which has already faced so many scandals and problems and also lost good players due to their involvement in betting and gambling, so the PSL matches being shown live on a betting company’s website is not a small matter,” Miandad was quoted as saying.
Miandad, a veteran of 124 Tests, pointed out that even if betting was legal in UK and the live streaming was done only in countries by the betting company where betting is legal, how could the PCB remain a silent spectator to this.
He added: “Gambling and betting is illegal in Pakistan and the PSL was held in Pakistan and it is hard for me to understand how the PCB was not aware all this time that one of their media rights partners had sublet the international live streaming rights to a UK based betting company?”
The PCB has said that it is holding an inquiry into the matter and talking to its media rights partner.
The governing body claims its media rights partner awarded the live streaming rights to the betting company without following any due process or informing the PCB. But Miandad said there was a need to have an independent inquiry committee look into the matter immediately.
“Any inquiry within the board will serve no purpose as obviously in any scenario some of their officials would be responsible for this mess,” the former captain said.
Miandad said the independent inquiry should find out how the live streaming rights went to a betting company and whether the PCB had kept any clause in their contract that under no circumstances will rights be sold to any betting company anywhere the world.
Miandad also lashed out at Pakistani batsman Umar Akmal for being suspended after failing to report a spot-fixing approach at the start of the PSL to concerned authorities.
“Umar, what is wrong with you. Why do only you keep on getting involved in these scandals. It is unacceptable now.”