Pakistan’s cricket team captain, Babar Azam, and Muhammad Rizwan have reportedly resisted enticing offers from illicit betting organizations, even as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) engaged in partnerships with betting companies.
In a move that appears to violate regulations, the PCB accepted sponsorship from Dafa News, a surrogate betting sponsor, which is alleged to have facilitated the proliferation of more than 150 illegal proxy betting websites and apps operating in Pakistan via digital platforms.
This development has led some Pakistan Super League (PSL) franchises to press players to individually endorse these unlawful betting companies’ logos on their shirts and grant image rights.
Babar Azam is said to have declined a substantial annual contract worth Rs250 million, while Muhammad Rizwan turned down a Rs100 million yearly contract from a single proxy betting firm, both expressing their stance against sponsorships and contracts that contravene the law.
Surrogate betting companies reportedly infiltrated Pakistan through cricket around 2021, with four out of the total six PSL franchises having betting surrogates as key sponsors as of PSL 2023. The government has initiated a crackdown on over 150 surrogate betting companies operating in Pakistan, causing significant economic losses. However, despite more than a month since the government’s notification, these betting applications continue to operate without any apparent action from the authorities.