Pakistan v England 2011-12 January 16, 2012

Time to do what's right about corruption - Strauss

Andrew Strauss has called upon any player with information about corruption in English cricket to come forward and talk to the ECB.

Strauss, the England captain, urged players to "do what is right for cricket" and utilise the three-month amnesty recently imposed by the ECB after the conviction of the former Essex seam bowler Mervyn Westfield on corruption charges.

Strauss warned against assuming the case was the only one of its kind after the the former Essex seam bowler Mervyn Westfield pleaded guilty to corruption charges.

"It took me completely by surprise when the allegations first came out and I've certainly not witnessed anything in my time," Strauss said. "But let's not be arrogant and just assume it's not there because clearly there has been an incident and if there has been one incident then there is a fair chance that there have been others."

Strauss was speaking ahead of the start of England's Test series against Pakistan. Past series between these teams have been littered with controversy and players on both sides have been talking of moving on from previous animosity, with Misbah-ul-Haq, Pakistan's captain, appealing to England to forget the spot-fixing scandal of their last tour.

"The ECB have provided an amnesty for players to come forward in the next three months and I'd urge them to do that if they do have any information. If it is there, we need to root it out. We need to get it dealt with and move on. If you want world cricket to be in good order then you have to make sure your own house is clean first."

"I think there is a lot more awareness now on the back of what has happened in the last couple of years. But it's something we have to always be vigilant about," Strauss said. "Obviously we have heavy schedules internationally and domestically, and, with heavy schedules, there is always the opportunity for people to think that one game is less important than another and that therefore they might be able to benefit from it.

"I've no idea if other players have information or not, but I urge them to come forward if they do. If there is a problem there we need to see the extent of the problem and take steps to clean it up. This is not the time to show loyalty to team-mates or friends or people you know. This is the time to do what is right for the game of cricket.

Meanwhile Tony Palladino, the former team-mate who blew the whistle on Westfield, has also warned against assuming that the incident was a one-off. "You'd be a fool to think spot-betting wasn't happening at Essex before, and at other counties," Palladino told the Sun. "It must have been. They've chosen county cricket because it's not as high profile as international cricket.

"What worries me is there might be other cases that have been swept under the carpet. I've spoken to international players who've been approached several times in Asia. It's rife out there.

"The guys most at risk are in Merv's situation: young, in the first team, but not earning much money. Merv could have gone on to play for England but he made a bad decision and for £6,000 he's lost his career. It's such a waste."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Darren on January 16, 2012, 21:26 GMT

    I appreciate your point AbdullahShaikh, but the problem is already with illegal bookmakers. Driving it underground entirely will only increase the corruption IMO. What has become blatantly obviously though, is that corruption is rife across all countries I think.

  • Ahmad on January 16, 2012, 21:12 GMT

    Yeah they should stop corruption! Nevertheless Pakistan is going to win the series- no doubt at all !!!

  • Dummy4 on January 16, 2012, 19:23 GMT

    move on mr struass and stop being typical english

  • Dummy4 on January 16, 2012, 18:38 GMT

    You know if you study the IPL, County Cricket, International cricket you will find many suspect deliveries and batting sequences. I think in the next 5 years many more players including english australian and saffas will be caught and India too. Its an epidemic which just wont go away.

  • Shakil on January 16, 2012, 16:37 GMT

    Instead of criticizing Strauss or smelling any foulplay, we should be commending the ECB and English courts for penalizing their own player and encouraging others to come forward so they can root out this problem. First of all, had it been going in any Asian country, no one would have cared to report it first and if reported, no one would have taken any serious action or the court would have let the guy go on grounds of technicality. England has set an example to follow for other cricket boards especially all Asian boards. Getting tough on the domestic level helps players fight off the temptations of a greater money when they play International cricket and also helps the game.

  • Abdullah on January 16, 2012, 15:00 GMT

    Yes. True. However, regarding the series i want to make two prediciions. 1) England players specially Broady will keep misbehaving on the field. 2) Pak players will keep dropping catches. Result obvious.

  • david on January 16, 2012, 13:52 GMT

    i sent a letter into a previous forum piece on cricinfo piece but did not see it posted. before guys write in saying rules for 1. this i take it is not guys who might have taken bribes. its for cricketers who may have been tapped up and may have information to help towards names of bookies etc and their like. if a player feels that he wants to admit to taken bribes then i take it he would be prosecuted. dpk

  • Abdullah on January 16, 2012, 12:22 GMT

    Tony P. is right. Straus is right. these incidents cannot be one off. For such things to happen there has to be an entire ring of wolfs preying in young gullble players. The case of Mohammed Amir had shocked the entire world (and i am not bothered about the other two players who seduced/presurred him into it). Such a talented boy at such a tender age, lost when his carreer had just taken off. I say bettig in all forms must be banned, and not just illegal betting. After all the same temptation of making faster money exists even in legal betting.

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