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Plan to educate players launched

LAHORE - The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has launched a programme to educate cricketers and officials on how to avoid corruption and be on their best behaviour in the sport.

"We have held lectures for all the regional teams including coaches who are part of the domestic structure and also for the national under-19 and A team players and support staff," former test captain Wasim Bari, who heads the programme, said.

Participants are given lectures on the International Cricket Council's anti-corruption code and the PCB code of conduct. "We are also telling them how to behave in a dressing room, how to interact with strangers and outsiders. How to avoid getting lured into corrupt practices. We are preparing them for international cricket."

Banned trio of Salman Butt, Asif and Aamir were not allowed to take part in the program. "Since they have appealed against their bans the matter is technically sub judice," said Bari. "So we can't involve them in any program at the moment."

The trio are serving minimum five-year bans from the ICC's anti-corruption tribunal for their role in a spot-fixing scandal during last year's tour to England.

The controversy sparked a major debate in Pakistan on whether the PCB was doing enough to educate the players on anti-corruption and code of conduct measures. The PCB official said the lectures were delivered in the national Urdu language and players and officials were encouraged to take part in question and answer sessions.

"We have also distributed a manual based on the ICC anti-corruption code and our own code of conduct in Urdu in all the regions," he added. The PCB also plans to hire foreign experts in future to give lectures.

The head of the Pakistan programmeo combat match-fixing says the three players suspended for corruption are not among the 400 who have already attended lectures.

Former Pakistan player Wasim Bari said on Thursday that because Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif have filed appeals "we can't include the trio in our education program."

Bari has been organizing lectures since late last year to all 22 regional teams, the national under-19 side and Pakistan A squad. He says they're taught "how to avoid getting lured into corrupt practices" and "how they should interact with strangers."

Butt, Aamir and Asif were banned for at least five years by the ICC in February after no-balls were bowled at predetermined times in a test.