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PSL: Teams violating Islamic rules in Pakistan, betting is getting boost on the instigation of PCB. Pakistan Cricket Board is also sitting silently in this matter. For this reason, PSL teams are easily promoting websites related to betting.
Islamic rules are being flouted here in the Pakistan Super League. The three PSL franchises have been accused of promoting surrogate advertisements of online betting platforms and violating strict Islamic laws. Surrogate advertisements of companies such as Xbet, Bazzibet and Melbet are prominently featured in the PSL. Teams are promoting these companies by using their logos and names on their jerseys and players' kits. A team has also signed an agreement with the casino company.
Betting and gambling in any form is banned in Pakistan but off-shore online platforms are using the domestic T20 tournament to promote themselves through surrogate advertising. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has maintained silence on the issue. This silence of PCB allows all the franchises to enter into agreements with these betting companies.
Some television channels showing PSL matches are also promoting these betting sites. The PSL brand name is also being used on several online websites with advertisements associated with these gambling and betting companies. Former Pakistan Test captain Rashid Latif recently accused the PCB on this matter. He had said that the Pakistan Cricket Board should not promote betting and gambling sites through PSL. The PSL franchisee should not be allowed to enter into a surrogate advertising agreement.
Surrogate advertising in PSL has been going on for the past two years, with betting companies using news sites to promote their platforms, said an executive of a well-known advertising firm associated with cricket. "But this year it has become more and nobody really cares, because everybody wants to make money from PSL. It is happening in international cricket and other leagues as well," the official explained.
Even crypto-currency advertising boards can be seen in the grounds during PSL matches, although trading in them remains a matter of debate in Pakistan. Fixing has remained a major problem in Pakistan cricket since the 90s and last week the PCB handed a two-year ban to all-rounder Asif Afridi, who appeared in PSL matches for breaching its anti-corruption code.
Some Pakistani players, including former captains Salim Malik and Salman Butt, have faced bans and fines for their involvement in fixing.