ICC warn of lifetime bans
Haroon Lorgat has reiterated that the Pakistan cricketers at the centre of the betting scandal face the prospect of life bans.
Last Updated: 03/09/10 5:04pm
International Cricket Council chief Haroon Lorgat has reiterated that the Pakistan cricketers at the centre of the alleged betting scandal could face the prospect of life bans if found guilty.
Speaking to Sky Sports News, Lorgat was quick to insist he did not want to prejudge the outcome of the investigation into the claims surrounding Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif, but warned his body would adopt a "zero tolerance" policy that could see the trio frozen out of the game for good.
"We are guided by our own code," he explained. "We have promised prompt and decisive action.
"We have also been clear on record about adopting a zero tolerance approach to any form of corruption in the sport and I think it's incumbent on us to act.
"I don't want to prejudge any outcome. I think these players have been charged, they have still got to be proven as being guilty.
"We have the process that will put in to place an independent tribunal that will judge. But it is clear that our sanctions do provide for up to a life ban."
Lorgat also defended the ICC and its anti-corruption unit over suggestions that they should have uncovered such potential problems sooner.
"We do not operate in the fashion that some of the newspapers might in the form of a sting operation," he continued.
"We don't possess the powers of arrest or seizure that the police have got on the other hand so we are somewhat limited on the basis of how we can operate.
"People have choices. It would be most unfortunate if these individuals have chosen to do something that they should not have.
"We can only but educate and there's a responsibility on players, team officials, match officials to report to us any breaches in protocol."
Flanagan looking for cross-sport support
Sir Ronnie Flanagan, who is heading up the ICC anti-corruption unit's investigation into the matter, expressed his deep disappointment at the allegations, but insisted the scandal would not threaten cricket's integrity or popularity in the long-term.
"It's desperately disappointing that this should happen," Flanagan told Sky Sports News. "But if there is a cloud that appears to be hanging over cricket at the moment, I think it's temporarily hanging over cricket, I don't think it's a widespread problem.
"If it is a cloud as I've described it, then perhaps the silver-lining to that cloud is a reinforcement on all of our parts to be vigilant against such risks, but I don't think it's widespread.
"There are too many people involved in cricket determined to preserve the integrity and the great culture of the game of cricket and that's what undoubtedly will prevail."
On ways to counteract such betting problems within cricket and indeed the wider sporting world, Flanagan revealed he was hoping to encourage a cross-sport movement to provoke governmental action.
"I've already been speaking to colleagues in similar positions within horse racing and of course there are similar bodies to mine in areas of tennis, and I think throughout the sporting world if we get together and identify problems such as unregulated betting perhaps together we can raise a voice loud enough to move governments to act and to improve regulation in the areas of gaming and betting," he added.
"Perhaps in that way we can deal with these problems. It's a problem for cricket at the moment, but undoubtedly it's a problem that affects all of sporting life and I think together we can act to deal with this problem."