Pakistan cricketers ban is good for game, says Steve Waugh

Australian cricket legend says right decision was made after Pakistan trio found guilty of spot-fixing
Pakistan cricketers ban is good for game, says Steve Waugh
By Jo Anne Bladd
Mon 07 Feb 2011 03:27 PM

The recent banning of three Pakistani cricketers for corruption has been good for the game, Australia cricket legend Steve Waugh said on Monday.

"Look, I don't know whether the penalties given out were too harsh or not, but the important thing is that the right decision was made," Waugh told Arabian Business at the Laureus Sports Awards in Abu Dhabi.

Waugh captained the Australian Test cricket side during one of its greatest eras during the 1990s.

Waugh said everyone in Australia had been "very disappointed" by the recent Ashes series defeat to arch-rivals England, but added there was now cause for optimism.

"In terms of the World Cup, I actually think Australia have a better chance than England. England prepared themselves so heavily for the Ashes that they now have a lot of injuries, whereas Australia are peaking at the right time," he said.

Pakistan cricketers Salman Butt, Mohammed Asif and Mohammed Amir were on Saturday found guilty of spot-fixing by the International Cricket Council, after a six-day hearing in Doha.

Captain Salman Butt received a 10-year ban from the game, effectively ending his career, while fast bowlers Mohammed Asif and Mohammed Amir were given seven- and five-year bans respectively.

The ICC had charged the trio in September after a British tabloid accused them of accepting cash to bowl deliberate no-balls during Pakistan’s tour of the UK last year.

Exact information on when no-balls are delivered during a match can be used by bookies on the international gambling circuit.

Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) last week announced that all three players, along with alleged match-fixer Mazhar Majeed, would also face criminal charges in the UK.

The decisions are likely to end the international careers of both Butt and Asif, who are 26 and 29, respectively.

However, 18-year-old Mohammed Amir will be hoping to return to the sport after receiving the minimum ban. Amir has also confirmed that he will be appealing the decision.

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