In yesterday’s blog post I stated the case for Ian Pont to be fully reinstated back into the cricketing fraternity. Judging by the response the post is getting on social media and from Ian himself, it’s safe to say that Ian is very well supported from the fans of the game.
I fail to understand just why Pont’s evidence was deemed unusable. Even if, as the courts claim, Pont received any payment for his sting on the Gladiator owner, then why should that matter. I’ll reiterate once again, that I believe Pont was not receiving payment for his part in the operation to foil corruption, but was actually just pursuing the money he was entitled to as part of his salary.
But even so, why should it matter if those in a position to expose corruption are paid either for their time, or two help in the catching of suspects. Surely, corruption in cricket is a such a large threat now, in both financial and reputation terms, that we can move beyond petty politics and work together to catch the offenders.
Whilst Pont is forced to rebuild his career, those who were clearly guilty of corruption have been allowed to continue with their privileged lives unconcerned. Understandably, when Pont was aware of the corruption taking place, he was hesitant as to whether he should go to the ACSU or simply leave the country immediately. It a decision that has been made or the more difficult in the wake of the suspicious circumstance surrounding the death of former Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer.
The mere fact that Pont chose to report the corruption, should be evidence enough that he was clearly not trying to benefit from this. He was simply a man doing what he had been told to do for the good of the game.
As I said yesterday, it is about time that a side somewhere in the world, grew a pair and gave the man the job he deserves. The way in which Pont has been treated has a twofold effect on the state of cricket. Firstly, it obviously leads to those who appear to be guilty of serious corruption, being allowed to escape a trial. Secondly, anybody who is witness to corruption in the future, will be thinking even more seriously before deciding to report it. Not only is there the Woolmer factor to consider, there is now a new factor at play. If Pont can be used as an example, the loss of reputation could be completely unexpected and ludicrously disproportionate.