Asia Cup: PCB officials visit casino in Colombo in potential violation of ICC’s Anti-Corruption Code

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Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) officials, Umar Farooq Kalson (team media manager), and Adnan Ali (general manager for international cricket) are facing severe backlash after being spotted at a Colombo casino during the ongoing Asia Cup.

The actions of the officials are very likely to catch the eye of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Anti-Corruption Unit as visiting gambling establishments is strictly prohibited under the global cricket body’s Anti-Corruption Code.

In response to the heavy backlash, Kalson and Ali responded saying that the visit to the casino was only for dinner which was also confirmed by the casino, but people were still skeptical of their clarification.

Cricket writer Omair Alavi, as per The Tribune, said, “Who goes to a Casino to have food. Who goes to a gambling joint to have food. Who are they trying to fool. Not many are buying the explanation that they went to a casino just for dinner. It’s a bit hard to swallow.”

Fans have called them “immature” and “careless”, further questioning their professionalism during an ongoing international tournament.

Journalist Shakil Shaikh shared his opinion on X, recalling a similar incident that took place previously.

During the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, Moin Khan, Pakistan’s former captain who also acted as manager and chief selector, was spotted at a casino in Christchurch with his wife a day before the match against the West Indies.

While Moin Khan, in his justification, claimed that the visit was strictly for dinner, then PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan clarified that his actions were against the code of conduct. He was recalled to Pakistan due to his actions.

Shaharyar Khan, at the time, also emphasized on the need for all PCB officials to to strictly follow the board’s and ICC’s Anti-Corruption Code.