Is cricket damaged? You bet it is

 
Andy Lloyd
THERE’S an old saying in life, which goes: “It’s just not cricket” – a phase which is testimony to the fair nature and traditional values of the game of cricket.

But never has that been more undermined than the events of the last two days with the emergence of these damning match-fixing allegations involving Pakistan players.

In my eyes it’s simple. Any player found guilty of match-fixing should be banned from the game for good. There should be no half measures, it can not be tolerated.

I also believe that the four Pakistan players accused should be ruled out of the forthcoming one-day and Twenty20 series with England until they can clear their name.

It’s clear to me that the evidence against the four Pakistan players is very strong and I just can’t see how they can carry on playing under what are now strict International Cricket Council regulations.

Over the last few months we have seen a bizarre sequence of events involving Pakistan, both in the four Tests with England and the previous series with Australia. There is a lot of investigating to do.

In their defence, however, I don’t think a team who wanted to lose would reduce England to 102-7 before that scintillating stand between Jonathan Trott and Stuart Broad – one which should never be taken away from them – turned the match.

Clearly bowling no-balls hardly has the same effect as fixing matches, which led to Hansie Cronje being banned for life in 2000, but cheating is cheating and if these allegations are proved true, then these guys must be dealt in the same way.