The national cricketer Mohammed Shami is facing a slew of allegations from his wife Hasin Jahan. She has raised serious issues including domestic violence and the police has booked the fast bowler for the same. Shami has a lot to answer for. He must face the charges and clear his name in the matter of his personal relationship with the accuser. However, what the BCCI did in withholding his annual contract is wrong. The board can act in having the charges made regarding his activities in match fixing and his links with certain people named by her investigated. The board cannot, however, decide to take action against him in this premature manner and keep him off the list of players who have all been enhanced contracts with a hefty raise in the slabs that now go up to `7 crore a year for cricketers who play in all three formats.
The charges made by Shami’s wife about his extramarital affairs are serious so far as his marriage is concerned. Sports bodies may be aware that high-strung athletes are said to be prone to dalliance with casual sex but they tend to look the other way as it is not in their interest to play the moral police. The more progressive cricket boards, which worry about the divorce rate among cricketers, tend to encourage wives to travel on tours and the South African board also pays for their trips. Seen in that light, the BCCI action is most disappointing when it should have been seen standing by a player at a time he is facing serious charges and advise him to take the right route in trying to sort out his personal matters in the legal way. Shami has to take matters head-on and clear his name before he can expect to represent Team India again.