Cricket

Cricket is a 'resilient' sport

2010-09-08 09:51
Geoff Lawson (AFP)

New Delhi - Australia's upcoming tour of India could provide a healing touch to the match-fixing controversy engulfing cricket, according to former Pakistan coach Geoff Lawson.

Three Pakistani players -- Test captain Salman Butt and fast bowlers Mohammad Aamer and Mohammad Asif -- have been suspended over spot-fixing allegations during the Lord's Test against England.

Lawson, a former Australian fast bowler who coached Pakistan in 2007-2008, said cricket needed a series of riveting matches to restore fans' faith in the game.

"Cricket is a very resilient sport. What is needed urgently is a tough, hard series of Test cricket. And the game will move on," Lawson told reporters in Mumbai late Tuesday.

Lawson said Australia's two Tests against the top-ranked Indians next month, followed by three one-day internationals, were crucial for the health of the game.

"This India-Australia series is very important," he said. "People in Australia are looking forward to the Ashes. A good, tough and hard series before the Ashes will do a lot to retain people's faith in the game.

"If players play good cricket and the public see good cricket, they will forget what's gone on before. The people want their heroes to play well. There wasn't a hero in this controversy," said Lawson.

Ricky Ponting's Australia will arrive in India on September 21 and play two back-to-back Tests in Mohali (October 1-5) and Bangalore (October 9-13).

The Tests will be followed by one-day matches in Kochi (October 17), Visakhapatnam (October 20) and Goa (October 24).

Australia will then return home to prepare for the Ashes series against England starting in Brisbane on November 25.

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