The spot-fixing scandal

'To gain an honest system, you have to lose something'

ESPNcricinfo staff

February 6, 2011

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A look at the wide variety of reactions triggered by the spot-fixing verdict


Mohammad Amir, Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif look on, Lord's, August 27, 2010
Rashid Latif: "Players come and go - this will be a momentary loss for Pakistan cricket" © Getty Images
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"I am genuinely upset over the bans on three key, young and talented players. It was great humiliation for the people of Pakistan as the kind of ignominy it brought made people more demoralised than the floods in the country. The sad part of this whole corruption episode is that most of the people sitting at important places in Pakistan are corrupt and with that prevailing what sort of signal we are giving to our youth? When the match-fixing scandal first surfaced in 1995 and we had judicial inquiry, even at that time the PCB mishandled the case as they were scared that if they ban some key players then team will lose and the Board will be sacked. Until and unless we have an elected Board who takes decisions on merit and without fears of being sacked we cannot have a proper domestic system and we won't be able to avoid controversies like this spot-fixing thing."

Imran Khan, speaking to AFP, asks for a systemic change in the administration of Pakistan cricket.

"That's a major deterrent. To get five years, for most players, that's your career over. And rightly so for someone like a captain of a team who is responsible for the culture and character of the team and influences younger players. The worst possible sin you can commit as a captain is to do something like that. I feel a little bit, I guess, of compassion for the young guy [Amir] because he would have seen it happening with the other players. Butt, I don't have any sympathy for him and Mohammad Asif has sort of been a serial offender in a lot of areas. At some stage someone's got to take a stand. There's no point pussy-footing around and making a half-hearted decision. You've got to have a serious deterrent out there to stop people doing it. We'd be very naive to think they're the only ones doing it."

Steve Waugh tells AAP the fact Salman Butt was captain makes his crime worse.

"I feel sad for all three of these kids, two just over 20 and one just 18. I feel for their families because they are key players. This is a low for Pakistan cricket. Not only for cricketers in Pakistan, but also for the players of the world, this should be a lesson, and I sincerely hope that the ICC has set an example with this verdict and this will serve as a clean-up, not only in Pakistan cricket, but in world cricket."

Wasim Akram hopes the sanctions will prove a deterrent in the future.

"All three players were the future of Pakistan cricket, so it's a very upsetting day. All three had promising careers but it's sad that they fell into a trap and couldn't recover. They could have earned more through playing international cricket. I think this should serve as a jolt for the PCB who should have curbed this before it happened."

Iqbal Qasim believes the investigation has shown up the inefficiency in the Pakistan board.

"To gain an honest system, and have unquestionable integrity, you have to lose something and players come and go - this will be a momentary loss for Pakistan cricket."

Rashid Latif is confident that the verdict will be to the benefit of Pakistan cricket in the long run.

"The ICC had decided to give punishments to the players because there was too much pressure on them to curb fixing. It's an important day for world cricket and very sad for Pakistan. Amir and Asif are a huge loss."

Sarfraz Nawaz says the bans were to be expected since the ICC was under pressure.

"In my book no player is indispensable and cannot be replaced. Nothing is greater then the honour and name of the country. I was expecting these bans but it came as a surprise that their was no leniency shown to Amir."

Zaheer Abbas tells PTI that he thinks Amir got a harsh sentence.

"The PCB has no jurisdiction to challenge the bans as this is a matter between the ICC and the players."

PCB chairman Ijaz Butt says the players are on their own if they want to appeal the verdict.

"Honestly speaking, to me, anyone who tries to play around with the sacred nature of this sport he deserves longer bans, especially Salman Butt."

Former PCB chief Arif Abbasi supports the tribunal's verdict.

"Amir can still make a comeback because he has age on his side, but it is good for him to learn his lesson at this stage."

Former ICC president Ehsan Mani believes Amir can serve his ban and return to the highest level.

"The important things with any punishment for those sorts of things is that it sends a very strong message to people that might be tempted to do it in the future... that if you do it then your career is going to be substantially reduced if not completely destroyed."

England captain Andrew Strauss agrees the punishments can serve as a deterrent

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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