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Monday, February 7, 2011

Nasim Ashraf feels ‘great sadness’ at trio’s bans

NEW YORK, Feb 7 (APP): A former Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman, Dr Nasim Ashraf, has voiced “great sadness” at the lengthy bans given to three Pakistani players for spot-fixing, but said that the punishment was justified because there was no place for corruption in Cricket.An International Cricket Council (ICC) tribunal on Saturday banned former Pakistan captain Salman Butt for 10 years, with five years suspended, fast bowler Mohammad Asif for seven years, with two suspended, and teenage paceman Mohammad Aamer for five years.
“It is a matter of great sadness not only for these three players, Butt,Asif and Aamer, but for all of cricket, particularly Pakistan cricket,” Dr.Ashraf said in a statement issued on Monday. “One really feels for Aamer, an 18 -year- old who got sucked into the dirty world of Corruption.”
But, he said, there must be “Zero Tolerance” for corruption and breaking the law, something these three players did. “Not only did they shame themselves,they brought shame upon the entire nation! For the sake of future Aamers and Asifs, and for cleaning up cricket all over the world, the punishment is justified. Let this be a lesson for all cricketers—young and old—there is no place for corruption in cricket, I hope we learn a lesson from this.”
The trio were charged over incidents during the Test against England at Lord’s last year, when Britain’s News of the World newspaper claimed the players were willing to deliberately bowl no-balls.
The newspaper alleged the three had colluded in a spot-fixing betting scam organised by British-based agent Mazhar Majeed.
“Cricket players are Icons in any country particularly Pakistan! They are role models! They have to live up to the immense faith and adulation reposed in them by the nation,” Dr. Ashraf said.
“It is a sad day for all cricket, but Pakistan must show to the world that we are just as capable of meeting our moral and legal responsibilities like any other civilised nation.”
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