Cricket

ICC 'must act' on fixing

2010-09-21 14:46
Ricky Ponting (AP)

New Delhi - Australia's cricket captain Ricky Ponting on Tuesday urged the world governing body to take quick action on the match-fixing allegations swirling around the Pakistan team.

Ponting, currently in India for a Test and one-day series, said the International Cricket Council (ICC) must clean up the mess to ensure the sport's credibility did not take a bigger hit.

"The ICC should get to the bottom of the allegations," the Press Trust of India (PTI) quoted the Australian captain as saying in the northern city of Chandigarh.

Ponting, however, insisted it would be unfair to punish the entire Pakistan team over the allegations that have already seen Test captain Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamir suspended.

"It won't be wise a decision to keep Pakistan out of international cricket because it will have a bigger impact on other things," he said.

Ponting said he hoped the upcoming series against India will improve the sport's "battered" image since both teams will try to "play the best brand of cricket".

Asked if he feared any of his players being approached by illegal bookmakers on the tour, Ponting said: "The Australian team is very well educated on that side. We are briefed very well by our team management from time to time."

The ICC has launched an investigation into a "certain scoring pattern" that emerged during Pakistan's victory over England in the third one-day international at the Oval last Friday.

It followed a report by British tabloid newspaper The Sun, which claimed to have been made aware of details of Pakistan's innings before the match began.

The new allegations follow claims last month by another British tabloid, the News of the World, that Butt, Asif and Aamir were paid by an alleged bookie to under-perform during the Lord's Test against England.

The ICC suspended the trio while Scotland Yard interrogated Butt, Asif, Aamir and a fourth player, Wahab Riaz.

Australia's cricketers, who arrived in India on Monday, begin the month-long tour with a three-day practice match against the Indian Board President's XI in Chandigarh from September 25.

The two Tests in Mohali (October 1-5) and Bangalore (October 9-13) will be followed by three one-day internationals.

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