ICC should kick tainted ex-Pak skipper Butt out

Monday, February 7, 2011

SYDNEY - A senior Australian sports journalist has criticized the International Cricket Council (ICC) for imposing what he called limited bans on tainted Pakistani cricketers-Salman Butt, Mohamed Asif and Mohamed Amir. He says that anybody bringing the game of cricket into disrepute should be banned for life.

In a syndicated column, Robert Craddock accused the ICC of going soft on the three spot-fixing Pakistani cricketers, saying that the bans on them were almost similar to giving a convict a “suspended sentence” for murder.

“The penalties handed down are not outrageously light, but they should have been stronger, particularly for the man who presided over the sham, captain Salman Butt, who got a five-year ban plus a five-year suspended sentence. The two who bowled the no-balls - Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir - also copped five-year bans, with Asif getting a two-year suspended sentence as well,” news.com.au quotes Craddock, as saying.

“It is stunning to think that Butt, in particular, could be playing for Pakistan again and who is to say he will not one day again be captain of a team which has had six Test skippers in the past three years,” Craddock adds.

While he is ready to make allowances and concessions for Asif and Amir, whom he thinks were doing what they were told by their captain in the interest of self-preservation, Craddock believes that the ICC should have more severe on Butt and kicked him out of international cricket permanently.

“Butt was a much different case. He was educated at one of Lahore’s best private schools and speaks such good English that his accent sounds almost as if he could have been schooled in England. He shamelessly rorted the system and used the power invested in him to corrupt others. He should have had his butt kicked out of the game,” says Craddock.

“The game (of cricket) was on trial here as much as the players.This was a benchmark case. There is no greater crime in cricket than fixing a match or part of it,” he adds.

Corruption has been rife in cricket, particularly in Asia,and Cradoock believes that this “light sentence” on the three Pakistani cricketers may “scatter the vultures for a while, but they will be back.”

He concludes by saying that his biggest regret during two decades as a specialist cricket writer was that he and other journalists failed to get to the bottom of corrupt deals between players and Indian bookies. (ANI)

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