A petition has been filed in Sindh High Court against some Pakistan cricketers namely Shoaib Malik, Wahab Riaz, Imam-ul-Haq and skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed for smoking sheesha (hookah) before the World Cup match against India.
According to reports, advocate Abdul Jalil Marwat, the petitioner in the case said that the act of smoking sheesha contributed to the players’ poor performance as they lost to India.
The petition also names Sania Mirza, Indian tennis player and Shoaib Malik’s wife, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the International Tennis Federation (ITF).
Soon after the match against India, a video went viral on social media showing the players enjoying sheesha. Some Pakistani fans claimed they saw Shoaib Malik smoking sheesha at 2 am at the lounge on Winslow Road in Manchester, while others were having junk food, including “burgers and pizzas”.
On June 16, 2019, India beat Pakistan by 89 runs. This was India’s seventh win over Pakistan in the World Cup. Pakistan has never beaten India in the World Cup.
“In this important match, senior player Shoaib Malik scored zero runs, Imam-ul-Haq scored seven runs and Wahab Riaz took only one wicket,” the petition reads, according to Samaa TV.
“When sheesha smoking is indulged in hours before the match what can one expect but humiliation,” Minister for Human Rights in Imran Khan’s government, Shireen Mazari, had said.
Amid intense criticism, Shoaib Malik had clarified that the video being circulated was not from the night before the India match, but in fact from two nights ago.
“When will Pak media be accountable for their credibility by our courts?! Having served my country for +20 years in Intl Cricket, it’s sad that I have to clarify things related to my personal life. The videos are from 13th June and not 15th,” he had tweeted.
The petitioner, who calls himself ‘the most dedicated fan of cricket in Pakistan’, has also appealed to the court to ask the Pakistan Cricket Board why they have not taken any action yet.