KARACHI: Former Test captain Ramiz Raja says the "smartwatch" controversy was unnecessarily created by media during the Pakistan and England Test match at Lord's. ICC's Anti-Corruption officials rapped the Pakistan team for two of its players, Asad Shafiq and Babar Azam, wearing Apple smartwatches on the field on the first day of the match.
"I think it was an unnecessary controversy because this is not something new," Raja told the "Jang" newspaper in London. He pointed out that during the one-off Test against Ireland in Malahide earlier this month, he had in fact inquired from Asad as to why he was wearing a smartwatch and he responded by saying that it was too keep a tab on his fitness and timing.
Raja also said that some Irish players were also wearing smart watches during the Test. The Pakistani media has also reported that even the ICC's anti-corruption officer present during the Lord's Test was not aware of the rules and laws governing wearing of a smartwatch in a match.
"An English journalist brought the matter to the notice of Peter Oshay who was unaware of what the ICC regulations say about using a smart watch on the field," one report said.
Due to rising incidents of corruption in international cricket, the ICC has now even stopped umpires, trainers and team officials from using smartwatches during matches on the ground. The report said that the ICC headquarters got in touch with its Anti-corruption officer updated him, after which he reprimanded the two Pakistani players for wearing the device on the field.