Legendary batter Javed Miandad believes that match fixing could increase in Pakistan due to increasing rate of unemployment among cricketers.
Miandad believes that the end of departmental cricket in Pakistan is going to have a devastating effect on the sport in the country.
“End of departmental cricket has reduced sources of income for cricketers which could lead to match fixing,” Miandad told Daily Express. “Lack of income will force players to adopt illegal means to earn money.”
The 64-year-old also urged authorities to restore departmental cricket in Pakistan.
“Departmental cricket gives income security to players which allows them to focus on the game,” he said. “I have raised my voice for the restoration of departmental cricket in the past and will continue to do so until it is done.”
He also highlighted the role played by departments in Pakistan’s cricket.
“Departmental cricket has played a major role in our cricket and its importance should be considered similar to England’s county cricket. It also helped us become world champions,” he said.
Pakistan changed its sports structure from departmental to regional during former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s tenure. This idea made sense, among other benefits, in terms of offering better career paths to players and revival of local rivalries. However, lack of a proper transition plan, from departments to regions, has left local players in dire straits with many struggling to make ends meet.
A number of former and current cricketers have raised their voice in favour of departmental cricket, ever since the structure was changed.
After the regime change in Pakistan, it was expected that departmental cricket will be restored in Pakistan under the premiership of Shehbaz Sharif but no official notification has been issued in this regard so far.