Pakistan camp has been contacted by the anti-corruption officials for the most bizarre reasons following the first day of the opening Test match against England.
The officials have told Pakistan players to not wear smartwatches on the field, after a number of players were spotted wearing them on the first day.
Although wearing smart watches is not prohibited under International Cricket Council’s (ICC) playing regulations, but the players need to be disabled to comply with the anti-corruption procedures.
After the day’s play, Hasan Ali talked to media and said:
The ACSU officer came to speak to us and told us it’s not allowed to wear them so we won’t be wearing them.
Corruption has remained a huge part of cricket and the authorities have been combating from an early day. This — ban of any transmitting device — is also a drive towards complete transparency in the game.
Players generally hand over their phones and tablets to anti-corruption officials before the start of play and are locked away until stumps.
According to ICC regulations:
Communication devices are prohibited within the PMOA [player and match official area], barring specific exceptions.
Without exception, no player shall be in possession of, or use a communication device (such as a mobile phone or a device which is connected to the internet), while in the PMOA.
To provide more clarity on the matter, an ICC official stated:
Apple watches in any way connected to a phone/WiFi or in any way capable of receiving comms such as messages, are not allowed. In effect, it is considered a phone unless ‘disabled’ and just a watch.
Asad Shafiq was one of the Pakistani players who wore a smartwatch during the match. In an interview prior to the match with Ramiz Raja, Asad claimed that he uses the smartwatch to monitor his fitness. He further added:
We definitely get an idea [of fitness measures]. If you wear it the whole day you get an idea, you get the results of your workout in front of you, and you can calculate your targets for the next day.
Although there are no claims of misuse of the smart watches by Pakistani players but the ICC holds the power to confiscate any device (including smartwatches) and monitor the recent activities by downloading the content present on the device(s).
Following this, there are rumors that ICC will be upgrading the rules and regulations with more clarity to avoid such incidents going forward.