The International Cricket Council (ICC) and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have been left fuming after banned cricketers,Salman Butt and Muhammad Aamir made television appearances on special ICC World Twenty20 shows.
Butt and Aamir appeared as experts on the ‘ARY’ and ‘Express’ channels yesterday during the India and Pakistan warm up match,drawing a mixed reaction from the cricket community.
The PCB declined to comment on the issue,pointing out the two players were under a ICC ban and the board also could not interfere in working of private media outlets.
But an ICC spokesman told the “Jang” daily newspaper that the appearance of the two banned players was disappointing.
“We can’t interfere or tell any media organization what to do. But certainly they need to look at these things themselves as these players are certainly not role models for the younger generation,” the spokesman said.
He said media channels have to decide themselves whether it was ethically right to have players banned for corruption working for them as experts.
Even last year Butt appeared on a channel during the World Cup leading to a big controversy as at that time the ICC anti-corruption tribunal was in the process of hearing the spot fixing charges against them.
Sources said the PCB had privately conveyed its concerns to the channels but could do nothing more.
“We can’t do anything about this because the players are not violating any clause of their bans and this is basically an ethnical and moral issue and we can’t tell anyone what to do,” one source said.
The two and teammate,Muhammad Asif were banned in February,2011 by the ICC tribunal for a minimum of five years for corruption and spot-fixing during the fourth test that Pakistan played against England at Lords in August,2010.
The trio were also given different jail sentences by a crown court in London in November,2011 for the same offence.
Butt and Aamir returned to Lahore this year after serving out their jail terms.
A source close to the players said that they were forced to accept the media assignments since they had no other channel to earn their livelihood.
Butt pointed out that cricket was his profession and bread and butter.
“I am just doing a job related to my profession and livelihood,” he said.
One source said the two players opted for the assignments as they were facing financial issues because the ban does not allow them to take part in any cricket activity for five years.