No life bans for Pakistan players

cricket blogs for Yahoo Cricket Columns

The allegations of spot fixing levelled against some of the Pakistan players are very troubling, but people should not overreact.


This is a desperately sad episode for cricket and particularly for the sport in Pakistan and the matter must be treated sensitively. The atmosphere on the fourth day at Lord's was very subdued - the like of which I have never experienced before.


I am a big believer that everyone in life makes mistakes and should not be castigated for committing one error of judgement.


If the Pakistan players in question are found guilty of spot fixing, there should be a punishment in place to act as a deterrent for the future.


But it is all too easy for everyone to jump on their high horse and advocate life bans for all involved: there simply has to be a second chance.


When weighing up punishments, everything must be taken into consideration: the players' upbringings, the advice they received, and their histories.


Most international players are well versed and educated in how to behave when approached by bookmakers and so-called 'middle men' - it would be very difficult to remain naive.


We at England were told time and time again about the dangers of match-fixing involvement, and our briefings when playing on the sub-continent were very thorough.


I would like to see people wait for the conclusions of the police investigation before jumping to conclusions, as so many factors will inevitably be involved.


We simply do not know at this point whether, for instance, Mohammad Aamer was bullied or cajoled into any involvement.


For an 18-year-old to be caught up in this sorry episode is a crying shame, and to see such an exciting prospect faced with such serious allegations is very shocking.


There is understandably a pretty hysterical reaction to the whole affair, but the facts are the most important thing - it is then up to the ICC to react quickly and decisively.


I would like to see a better distribution of finances within the game to ensure that countries such as Pakistan do not suffer; and re-education of the game's core values, and principles.


Of course, this very saddening situation needs resolving and any guilty parties need to be punished, but cricket must get back on its feet as quickly as possible.


Cricket is always bigger than any player or group of players, and the cricketing authorities must react swiftly to ensure that the game's reputation is not tarnished any further than it already has been.


Courtesy: Yahoo! Eurosport UK