Cricket: Players' chief says jail sends message
The jailing of three Pakistani cricketers over a fixing scandal sends a clear message to all sportsmen that cheating will not be tolerated, players' union chief Tim May said Friday.
A British judge on Thursday jailed former captain Salman Butt and bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer for their part in a fixing scandal which has rocked the game to its core.
Their corrupt British agent Mazhar Majeed was also locked up.
May, head of the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations (FICA), which co-ordinates the activities of national players' associations, said it should be a wake up call to anyone contemplating cheating.
"The real possibility of spending time in prison is a further compelling argument for players to distance themselves from those who seek to profit illegally from the game," the Australian said in a statement.
He said he had mixed emotions about the verdict in London's Southwark Crown Court, saying he was concerned that spot fixing still appeared to be prevalent despite cricket authorities spending millions of dollars to stamp it out.
But he said he felt "satisfaction that the prosecution has been able to identify corruption and deliver a loud and clear message to players of all sports that if you are caught cheating the integrity of sport you will be prosecuted and face severe penalties".
May called on the International Cricket Council and its member boards, as well as players and player associations, to take responsibility for weeding out corruption.
"We all need to review our roles in providing proper and regular education to cricketers, umpires and administrators at all levels of the game," he said.
"We need to ensure that cricket's Anti Corruption Unit functions effectively and has access to the respective tools and information that can identify those who seek to harm our game."
The ICC is currently reviewing the role and functioning of the Anti Corruption and Security Unit.
Butt received a 30-month sentence while Asif was jailed for a year on charges relating to the August 2010 Lord's Test match against England. Aamer was sentenced to six months in a young offenders' institution.
© 2011 AFP