Sri Lankan manager calls for corruption-free cricket world

Pakistan paceman Mohammad Asif has been found guilty of conspiracy to cheat and accepting corrupt payments AFP

Dubai: Nov 2, 2011

Sri Lankan team manager Anura Tennekoon on Wednesday called for corruption free cricket in order to sustain the interest in the game after three Pakistani players were found guilty in a spot-fixing scandal.

“I think any form of corruption in the game should be dealt with seriously and eradicated so that the interest in the game is sustained,” said Tennekoon when asked about his reaction on the court verdict in England on Tuesday.

Former Pakistan Test captain Salman Butt and paceman Mohammad Asif were found guilty of conspiracy to cheat and accepting corrupt payments by a London court jury after almost four weeks of trial which started on October 4.

A third cricketer Mohammad Aamer and their agent Mazhar Majeed — who both confessed before the trial began — will appear before the court on Wednesday.

Justice Cooke, who led the trial, is due to pronounce sentences for the guilty players on Wednesday or Thursday.

The scandal, broken by now defunct British tabloid News of the World, was related to deliberate no-balls delivered by Asif and Aamer with Butt a party to the deal made by their agent Majeed during the Lord’s Test against England last year.

The scandal rocked the cricket world and the guilty verdict is seen as a warning for future generations of cricket.

Tennekoon, 65, said followers of the game will lose interest if corruption existed.

“I think if corruption is not wiped off then the followers of this beautiful game will be lost, so from the point of safeguarding the game people who are playing the game as well authorities of the game should wipe out corruption,” said Tennekoon.

Tennekoon, who captained Sri Lanka in the first World Cup in 1975, said the matter should be seriously dealt.

“We need to deal with this matter seriously and I am hopeful that it will be done,” said Tennekoon, managing the team here for the three-Tests, five one-day and a Twenty20 international against Pakistan.

Sri Lankan captain Tillakaratne Dilshan refused to make any comments. “I am not going to comment on the corruption case,” said Dilshan.

Pakistan team has also stayed away from making any comments on the case. (AFP)