SHARJAH: Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur on Sunday praised an unnamed player, believed to be captain Sarfraz Ahmed, for reporting a spot-fixing approach as “a real example to our team”.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Saturday confirmed a player was approached with a fixing offer during the ongoing five-match ODI series with Sri Lanka but he reported the matter to the Board’s Anti-Corruption Unit.
A source close to the team, on the basis of anonymity, later identified the said player as Sarfraz, although the management is sticking to not making the name public.
“To be honest the player reacted unbelievably well,” Arthur told media at Sharjah Stadium. “He did everything required of him and we had a chat straight afterwards. It was handled brilliantly and I think that is a real example to our team and to the cricket world that a really important player was approached and acted to the letter of the law and did exceptionally well as a true ambassador of the game.”
PCB chairman on Friday tweeted that the matter was also referred to the International Cricket Council.
Arthur remains confident that all of his players would’ve acted the same way had they been approached. “I am very comfortable with our players. They are outstanding and they are intelligent young men and individuals and I have no doubt that if anyone is approached they will do the same way as the individual did,” said Arthur.
Per the anti-corruption rules, a player is required to instantly report a fixing offer, failure to which results in a minimum of six months to a maximum of lifetime ban.
Pakistan cricket received a jolt in February when two of their players — Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif — were caught in a spot-fixing scandal which rocked the second edition of the Pakistan Super League held in the UAE.
Sharjeel was banned for five years (two and a half years of which were suspended), while Khalid was banned for five years and fined one million rupees ($10,000).
‘Fakhar needs to adjust to slow pitches’
Fakhar Zaman, centurion in the 2017 Champions Trophy final, hasn’t been able to replicate the same flair in the ongoing ODI series, and Arthur believes he needs to learn to adjust to the pace in the pitch.
“It worries me that a good player like Fakhar is not able to score runs,” he said. “What Fakhar needs to learn is that he played on fast pitches in England, but in UAE the pitches are slow and don’t allow him to play much strokes.”
Arthur suggested Fakhar to rotate strike more to develop his game further. “He needs to learn to rotate strike a bit more, and needs to learn to take singles to get to the other end. That is going to be the key in the development of Fakhar if he wants to become a good batsman. He still is a key player for the team and after he plays the last ODI, he will be taking his form to the T20 series.”
‘Players hungry for victory’
Pakistan are leading 4-0 in the five-match ODI series and will be taking on Sri Lanka in the fifth ODI in Sharjah on Monday to try and earn a whitewash, and Arthur says players have enough hunger to pull that off.
“They guys have hunger for the win which they had been having in the previous ODI matches, so I am pretty confident they’ll win the [last] match, but if they don’t, it will be really disappointing. We are not very far away from making a world record so we want to maintain that too.”
Source: Tribune News | Arthur praises Sarfraz’s response to bookie