Two officials of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), who had been issued show-cause notices after being spotted at a famous Colombo casino, claimed that they visited the casino in search of “halal” food, according to a Daily Jang report published Monday.
Responding to the notice, both officials tried to explain the reason behind their casino visit and stated that they went there under compulsion because restaurants were closed late at night and they had not eaten because of the unavailability of halal food.
They added that there was no intention to engage in any prohibited activities. Following their clarification, the PCB has not taken any immediate disciplinary action in this matter.
PCB CEO Salman Naseer had taken notice of the matter and sought an explanation from both the officials who always remained in contact with the players.
PCB chief Zaka Ashraf is also in the Sri Lankan capital along with his family and, according to sources, will take the final decision in this regard.
When contacted for a statement with regard to the matter, a PCB spokesperson declined to comment.
The incident, however, generated significant media coverage.
The matter comes to the fore at a time when the Pakistan team is in the Sri Lankan capital playing the Asia Cup 2023 tournament. Its match against arch-rival India in the Super 4 phase remains in limbo following Colombo’s rain-stricken weather.
It is worth mentioning here that the same Colombo casino had gained notoriety in the past in relation to its association with cricketers, added the Daily Jang report.
Previously, Australian cricketers Mark Waugh and the late Shane Warne faced accusations of providing information about a match to bookmakers at the same casino in 1994. Meanwhile, some Pakistani cricketers were also spotted at the casino in the past.