ISLAMABAD: The proposed criminalisation of match-fixing in Pakistan has inched closer to become a law as Member National Assembly Iqbal Muhammad Ali Khan has confirmed that a bill in this regard has been submitted in the National Assembly. The MQM politician was quoted as saying Wednesday that he has presented the bill in the lower house of the Parliament. The MNA even said that a proposal to form a special investigation agency has been made. Earlier this week, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ehsan Mani, in an interview, said that the PCB planned on establishing a stringent framework that would punish corrupt elements severely. “Having the appropriate legal framework to go after corruptors and match fixers is very important. We have to have the strongest possible deterrent to protect the game. I believe that every major cricket playing country should criminalize match-fixing,” he said. Earlier this year, several former cricketers, including Javed Miandad and Aqib Javed, had called for criminalisation of corruption in sports in order to deter episodes such as the 2017 Pakistan Super League fixing scandal. According to the bill, a special unit will be setup, which will investigate claims related to corruption according to the criminal act. Offences related to corruption in sports will carry a prison term of up to 10 years or a fine of Rs.100 million or both together. The bill also proposes to punish curators, umpires and match officials who deliberately misuse their authority for financial or other gains. It must be noted that the PCB has already forwarded its recommendations, regarding eradication of corruption in sports, to the country’s Primer Minister and the organisation’s Patron-in-Chief, Imran Khan. A 77-page document, titled ‘Legislation on the prevention of corruption in sports’, was drafted to provide a comprehensive guide about PCB’s Anti-Corruption code while also detailing important aspects of a recent bill passed by the Sri Lankan Parliament — which criminalised several offences related to match-fixing among other things.