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Sep 15, 2010

Murali wants life ban for fixers

Muttiah Muralitharan, the Sri Lankan offspinner, has become the latest cricketer to call for life bans for those guilty of fixing. Fellow spinning great Shane Warne and New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori had also demanded similarly harsh punishment for cheats after three Pakistan players were provisionally suspended by the ICC for their alleged involvement in spot-fixing during the Lord's Test last month.
"If they are guilty, they should get a life ban, that's the most important thing," Murali told ESPNcricinfo in Centurion ahead of his match for Chennai Super Kings against Wayamba on Wednesday. "The younger generation should not follow that, so the punishment should be harsh if [players] are guilty."
Pakistan's Test captain Salman Butt and fast bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir were quizzed by police earlier this month for their alleged role in bowling deliberate no-balls during the fourth Test at Lord's between England and Pakistan; an undercover sting operation by the tabloid News of the World apparently revealed that they had done so at the behest of Mazhar Majeed, an agent to the players. Majeed was arrested but released on bail while the players had their mobile phones confiscated. No charges have been pressed against them yet. A fourth Pakistan player, fast bowler Wahab Riaz, was questioned by Scotland Yard on Tuesday.
Players from several other countries including Australia, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have reported being approached by suspicious characters over the past two years. "The game has to be clean," Murali said. "If somebody gets a life ban doing these things, others will stop doing that. The ICC has to act a lot on this."
On Tuesday, the ICC began a review of the existing anti-corruption measures and was looking at the possibility of engaging with national governments on regulating betting and the system of players' agents.
Copyrights © ESPN EMEA Ltd.

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