Karachi: Former Test captain Ramiz Raja said 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.
Raja 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 smartwatches during the Test.
The Pakistani media has also reported that even the ICC's anti-corruption officer in 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 smartwatch 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 the ICC headquarters got in touch with its Anti-corruption officer and updated him and then he reprimanded the Pakistani players for wearing the smartwatches on field.
Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.
New Zealand abandoned its tour of Pakistan minutes before the first match on Friday in Rawalpindi after its government issued a security alert.
Pakistan travelled to England last year at a time when Covid-19 infection rates in Britain were among the highest in the world for a three-match Test and T20 series that saved the ECB millions in television rights deals.
“I am severely disappointed in England’s withdrawal but it was expected because this western bloc gets united unfortunately and tries to back each other,” Ramiz said in a video message.