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PCB ACU warns players to be extra vigilant during Covid-19 lockdown

Match-fixers are likely to approach players, and build relationships, through social media

PCB ACU warns players to be extra vigilant during Covid-19 lockdown PHOTO: AFP

Pakistan players have been asked to remain vigilant of approaches from suspicious individuals, despite the sport being at a standstill due to coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

According to, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Security and Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) Director, Lt. Col (R) Asif Mahmood, new guidelines have been issued to cricketers and their agents, so that they all continue to be aware of the dangers of approaches.

“We have asked players to be extremely careful on social media with regards to interaction with suspicious individuals. Match-fixers are likely to take advantage of the lockdown by building relationships with players and exploiting it when cricket resumes,” said Mahmood. “I also urge players to report any such approaches immediately.”

“Players have a lot of free time during lockdown which has increased the use of social media. We have told players to do a proper background check before interacting with people, in order to ensure that they don’t end up ruining their careers,” he added.

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According to further details, suspicious individuals are also trying to lure players through sponsorship offers. They are also masquerading as representatives of team owners from different franchise tournaments and might invite players for meetings in India or Dubai after the lockdown finishes. In their attempt to trap players, these individuals might make use of fake names and untraceable numbers.

Earlier, head of the International Cricket Council’s anti-corruption unit, Alex Marshall had also spoken on the same issue.

“Covid-19 may have put a temporary stop on the playing of international and domestic cricket around the world but the corrupters are still active,” said Marshall according to The Guardian. “We have reached out to our members, players and their wider networks to highlight this issue and ensure they all continue to be aware of the dangers of approaches and do not let their guard down while there is no cricket being played.”

Mahmood also backed the idea of criminalising match-fixing offence, which was spoken about by PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani in a podcast recently, in order to deter players from getting involved in corrupt practices. 

“There is death penalty for killing someone, according to the law, which is why people stay away from committing such a crime,” he said. “We need to criminalise match-fixing as well so that players refrain from doing it. PCB does not have the power to legislate but we have conveyed our recommendations in this regard to the lawmakers.”