Gilchrist asks ICC to act tough against match-fixers or cricket will be dead

March 3rd, 2011 - 1:36 pm ICT by ANI  

Melbourne, Mar 4 (ANI): Australian legend Adam Gilchrist has said that match-fixing is the biggest issue confronting cricket, and has asked the International Cricket Council to show more leadership on fixing the curse afflicting world cricket or risk sport’s death.

Gilchrist’s plea came as ICC anti-corruption boss Ravi Sawani broke his silence to hit back at suggestions the governing body was not doing enough to stamp out the biggest issue confronting world cricket.

The Australian cricket fraternity is furious after a newspaper report claimed that the ICC had opened a spot-fixing probe into the slow batting of openers Brad Haddin and Shane Watson in their World Cup game against Zimbabwe.

The match-fixing innuendo reached a flashpoint when Sri Lankan vice-captain Mahela Jayawardena threatened legal action against a local government-run TV network for implying he was on the take after batting poorly in his team’s 11-run loss to Pakistan, which was still playing under its own spot-fixing cloud.

“It’s time for someone at the ICC to take more leadership on this issue. This (match and spot-fixing) is the biggest issue in the game, it really is. Scheduling is another but that won’t be an issue if there’s no cricket and if match-fixing spirals out of control there won’t be any cricket,” Gilchrist said.

“People won’t want to become stakeholders in our sport if match-fixing is allowed to flourish. The ICC has taken some action recently but I personally think the penalties need to be the harshest possible. I would like to see a life ban for anyone who enters into ill-dealings in the sport,” The Herald Sun quoted him, as saying.

The ICC’s anti-corruption unit has been criticised for lacking the investigative power to expose illicit betting activity. Sawani said the ICC’s anti-corruption unit was doing everything possible. (ANI)

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