He is dismayed by the conviction of three Pakistan cricketers in the spot-fixing scam but former head coach Waqar Younis hopes it would prove beneficial to the game in the long run.
“I hope that the outcome of the trial would prove beneficial to cricket in the future and also serve as a deterrent to other players,” Waqar said from Dubai.
The former Test captain, who resigned as coach in September after the Zimbabwe tour due to personal and health reasons, said for him the spot-fixing scandal had been one of the darkest chapters of his cricket career.
Waqar was the coach when the scandal first broke out last September resulting in bans on the implicated three Pakistani players, Salman Butt, Muhammad Asif and Mouhammad Amir by the ICC’s Anti-corruption tribunal and jail terms by the Southwark Crown Court in London after a criminal trial.
The court handed out a 30-month sentence to Butt, who was Test captain on the England tour, Asif was given a one-year jail term and 19-year-old Amir was asked to spend six months in a youth detention and correction centre.
Waqar said for him and Pakistan cricket, the spot-fixing scandal and subsequent developments related to it had been torture.
“I salute our team which despite this dark episode kept on focusing on the game and performing well even though there was so much pressure and spotlight on the team because of the scandal,” Waqar recalled.
“The scandal I thought overshadowed the emergence of our team in England as a fighting combination,” he added.
Waqar said while he felt sorry for the ordeal the families of the players have to go through but there is no sympathy for the jailed offenders as they had let the team and nation down.
“I just hope they repent what they have done and reform themselves. But the episode also shows the ICC and member boards need to much more to fight corrupt elements in the sport.”
Waqar said Amir had bowled one of the three pre-determined no-balls during the Lord’s Test at the behest of Butt.
Waqar said when he asked him about it, it was Butt who spoke out and said he had instructed the pacer to bowl it due to some strategic reasons during the course of the Test.
Waqar said he had informed the ICC anti-corruption about this when he gave his statement as a witness during the investigations into the matter.