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Friday, 26 May, 2000, 17:14 GMT 18:14 UK
Should Pakistan be suspended?

After a year long judicial inquiry into match-fixing in Pakistan, two former players have been banned for life.

But six members of the current squad escaped with fines that amounted to little more than a slap on the wrist.

Some commentators have called for the International Cricket Council (ICC) to take a firmer line and there have even been calls for Pakistan to be thrown out of Test cricket until the full extent of the match-fixing problem is revealed.

Similar controversies concerning South Africa, India and Australia are ongoing.

Should the ICC demand stiffer penalties for those in Pakistan? Are other countries simply trying to pass the buck? Tell us what you think?

HAVE YOUR SAY

The suggestion that the Pakistan team should be banned from cricket is a joke. If you look around, all the teams concerned whether it be England, Australia, India or South Africa have had their hands tainted so why just pick Pakistan? At least they have come up with fining or banning some of its players. What did Australia or England do? Now the spotlight is on India where the likes of Kapil Dev and Gavaskar have been named in the scandal. So, if you ban all the countries then it's best to ban cricket as a whole for cricket itself is responsible for all sorts of gambling.
M.S.Vakil, Canada

I am of the opinion that if Pakistan is to be suspended from international cricket for match-fixing, then Australia should also be punished. After all, they are the first culprits known to have been in this equation. I trust people will not forget this.
Bodipala Wijeyesinghe, UK

Pakistan should not be banned or suspended because there are only nine test-playing countries, Pakistan being the most exciting and unpredictable team in this rather small lot. Apart from this, why should a country be banned due to the misconduct of some players?
Wajih Ahmed Abbasi, Pakistan

Banning an entire nation dilutes the responsibility and is unfair to the other players. Those found responsible must be banned for life as a clear message for the future. However, in order to prevent a witch hunt or to prevent 'famous' players from escaping the noose, an international panel should have the last say on the matter.
Vivek, USA



An international panel should have the last say on the matter

Vivek, USA

You don't hold every citizen responsible if a nation produces few bad ones. The idea is insane and lacks maturity.
Sun, USA

Banning Pakistan from ICC is ridiculous. Pakistan is the one leading the drive against match-fixing by banning its leading players.Pakistan should be applauded for this rather than punished.
Serkan, Turkey

Cricket is called a gentleman's sport. If anyone doesn't have that quality they have to punished. It is better to ban Pakistan, India, Australia and South Africa for the 2003 World Cup if they are found guilty to protect this gentleman's quality in other teams. Then everyone will learn a good lesson. Otherwise the same thing or something worst than this will happen in the future and ICC will be guilty in that time.
Ajith, Sri Lanka

Banning a national cricket team for wrongdoings of players is not supportable. However, players who are proved to be linked to match-fixing must be banned for life.
Sheikh Al Harun Islam, Canada/Bangladesh



You don't hold every citizen responsible if a nation produces few bad ones. The idea is insane and lacks maturity

Sun, USA

I dont think that Pakistan should face a ban. Instead, the judicial commission should be applauded for the fair outcome of the match-fixing inquiry.
Sharjeel, USA

Oh yes! Ban Pakistan for setting a good precedent and don't ban Australia for concealing facts about Shane Warne and Mark Waugh's so called little mistake. And what about banning South Africa and India? How many cricketing nations will we be left with after that? It will really ensure the promotion of cricket worldwide!
Rafay Zahid, Pakistan

If more than two players in any team are found to be corrupt that team should be suspended for at least six months.
Rao Guntur, Canada

No, the country should not receive any punishment as a whole. They have given the world of cricket such players as Wasim and Waquar as well as a whole wealth of other talent and it would be detrimental to the world of cricket in general to remove such stars from the sport.
Robin Cook, England



the judicial commission should be applauded for the fair outcome of the match-fixing inquiry

Sharjeel, USA

It is not a question of banning Pakistan or any other country. Concrete steps should be taken to get betting out of cricket. No one here is talking about the bookies, illegal betting dens should be closed which will sort out half the problems. Hopefully for the rest of them, these player should now realise that the world means business. Secondly, why are we even discussing an absurd question of banning a country and the sports it has so much contributed to for the sin of few idiots. If this is true then history is full of incidents where whole countries should have been banished from the face of earth for the crimes of few of its representatives .
Omar Khalid, Pakistan

I am truly ashamed that Pakistan has yet again got worldwide media attention due to corruption by some of the greedy and backward players. As everyone knows, we have high level corruption throughout the country starting from the top such as the Prime Minister (or the current CEO) to sport. What's the point of finding Malik guilty but just 'fining' the others when they too have surely been involved in the same case. This is a long and unwinnable game of warped heads.
Rashid Rehman, Pakistan/USA

What is the difference between what Hansie Cronje, Shane Warne and Mark Waugh have done? Absolutely nothing. They all allegedly accepted money for information on matches. So why some should get away with it?
Patrick Ratnaraja, UK



If they ban Australia, Pakistan, South African and India from the 2003 World Cup, who would bother to turn up and watch it?

Mark Schuller, Australia

If, like Mr Mubarak writes, they ban Australia, Pakistan, South African and India from the 2003 World Cup, who would bother to turn up and watch it? Not the Poms...they would still be knocked out before the semis anyway!
Mark Schuller, Australia

Its not a question of banning one country or another. The last few weeks have showed that the problem is not with one country or one team. The problem is with the set-up of the game. Its not properly commercialised. You have hundreds of millions of people watching and yet the players don't make any real money compared to other sports. Make it more professional and everyone would make more money than they ever could through match-fixing.
Faraz, USA

Pakistan have been one of the best teams in international cricket. ICC cannot just go ahead and suspend Pakistan. If they really want to suspend countries for match-fixing they should also suspend other teams. It's just ridiculous to kick just one team out and not pay any attention to the others.
Mamoon Rashid, Pakistan

I don't feel very sorry that players from my country have been involved in match-fixing and bribery. This is not something new in our country as we have corruption at all levels.
Malik Hussain, Pakistan

The Pakistan judicial system should not be the butt of the scrutiny here. By and large, Pakistan has dealt severely compared to India in dealing with the allegations. On the other hand, India is still toying with the idea of how to swipe the whole issue under the carpet, as it always does. Pakistan plays cricket. India plays at everything.Too bad that blokes point a finger at Pakistan. Although one thing has to be said; some justice is no substitute for undiluted justice.
Vasudevan , USA



It's just ridiculous to kick just one team out and not pay any attention to the others

Mamoon Rashid, Pakistan

If ICC decides to ban Australia then certainly Pakistan should be banned, though it would be unfair to label a whole nation guilty for misdeeds of a few. The Pakistani Cricket Board has opened everything up in front of the world community. What about the other nations like Australia, India and South Africa?
Kashif Subhani, UK

I do not think that Pakistan should be banned from test or one-day international cricket, as this would not solve anything. I also think that countries like Australia have dual standards when it comes to their own players which is just not cricket.
John Quincy Adam, USA

Controversy on match-fixing has reached its limit. Countries like India, Pakistan, Australia and South Africa should all be banned if any of their players are found guilty of match-fixing or accepting bribes. Match-fixing is not something that nobody knew about but it was just ignored by the big guns running cricket because they too were involved in some way or the others. This needs a thorough investigation and a major clean-up.
Johnny Dias, Canada



Countries like Australia have dual standards when it comes to their own players which is just not cricket

John Quincy Adam, USA

Pakistan should be banned for their actions but they should also be applauded for their actions in them getting caught by the ICC. With the investigation going forward, it is good for other nations to thank Pakistan, because they will see the consequences given to the nations, and they will then clean up the corruption in the fixed matches. The ban should only be temporary, and some of the players should be fined or even banned.
Tahir Bokhari, USA

It's an absurd suggestion. Whoever thought of it? Besides that, one puzzling matter is that Ata-ur-Rehman was the one who accused Wasim Akram of match-fixing. How can an accuser be banned when he wasn't accused of anything?
Altamash, USA

To ban Pakistan because Hansie Cronje, the South African captain, has been caught red-handed is a ridiculous idea.
Naeem Butt, Sweden

The Qayyum report is out but does not offer hard evidence. There's hearsay and allegations by tainted Aussies. Why should they be believed? Rather, it is quite likely that Malik approached the Aussies, knowing they were involved in the racket. This line of thinking, of course, is as speculative as any other. Where's the proof? And why single out the country that was bold enough to publish a judge's views? Enough has been done to cast aspersions all around. Let's strengthen the infrastructure to discourage, if not eliminate, cricketers mixing with bookies and move on. Let bygones be bygones. Grant a general amnesty, like Australia has effectively done and close the book for now. Establish hard rules with hard penalties associated with them, and move on.
Babar Shameem, USA



Ata-ur-Rehman was the one who accused Wasim Akram of match-fixing. How can an accuser be banned when he wasn't accused of anything?

Altamash, USA

It seems proposterous to suggest that Pakistan should solely be suspended from international cricket, considering players from other nations including India, South Africa, Australia and even England appear to be involved in match-fixing.
Kash, Canada

The ICC should be grateful to the PCB for bringing out the inquiry and punishing the culprits. I don't see why the ICC wants to ban the Pakistan team. If they want to set an example why not start with the Australians, who hid the bribery scam of their great Warne and Waugh on purpose. And what about South Africa? You just can't punish the whole team because of what one player has done.
Ammar Ahmad, USA

The entire Pakistani nation should not be punished for the misdemeanours of corrupt players - ban the guilty parties by all means - but don't punish the innocent. Unlike the UK, they've actually named and shamed the guilty parties - as opposed to taking action against the whistleblowers. Cricket needs to clean up its act globally but some of the vitriol spouted by commentators in this country is truly shocking.
Ferzana, UK

The ICC shouldn't ban any team from playing test cricket and the body should let the government of the respective countries decide what action is to be taken.
M F Zahid, UK



The ICC shouldn't ban any team from playing test cricket

M F Zahid, UK
I am pleased to hear that they finally did something about the match-fixing. But it is just the begining and it's a long road ahead.
Farid, Canada

Pakistan has a name in international cricket.To say that the country should be banned from cricket is wrong. Why should Pakistani's suffer because of some corrupt players. In future there should be a policy that all those who have shown disrespect for their country should be out.
Faisal Naeem Abbasi, United Kingdom

Cricket, unlike baseball, basketball, football or even soccer, is a poorly paid profession. The top salaries for players with six to eight years is an average US$300-400 thousand. Compare to $1 million plus rookies make in my part of the world. This is the root cause of corruption. Hike the salaries, pay players at least US$4-8million mlnimum for three years, the game will be cleaner, competition more severe. Banning Pakistan, South Africa or anybody is finding the wrong solution to an obvious problem.
Deepak, Canada

Other countries should also investigate this match fixing plague

Bilal Abdul Mujeeb, Pakistan

The ICC should ban individuals for life, not ban countries. Why make real, honest cricketers, who toil for their countries, be it India, Pakistan or South Africa, pay for the deeds of some individuals.
Ambrish Srivastava, USA

All playing countries, including the ECB needs to investigate the problem of match fixing, as a priority matter. There is a pattern emerging from all the boards, we see players that are still playing and are vital to the team, are getting away with this crime of match fixing. It is time the ICC took a grip and root this evil out of this wonderful game.
David, England

I think that banning Pakistan from international cricket would be a biased decision. The reason for that is only Pakistan has started the investigation on the match fixing issue and have punnished their two players. So other countries should also investigate this match fixing plague to ensure that the game is a gentlemen's game not that of bookies.
Bilal Abdul Mujeeb, Pakistan

Banning Pakistan will only stem the tide of righteous action currently favouring the cleansing of the game. Apportioning blame and indulging in one-upmanship based on race, colour and country is least required at this point of time.
Srikanth Beldona, India



We should applaud the PCB

Bader Cheema, USA/Pakistan
Should Pakistan be suspended? No way. The players guilty should be gotten rid of. Is this a corrupt Pakistan? Nope. It's a corrupt game. I fully expect in the following months for players from every major nation to be indicted. Otherwise how can I be confident that the last Zimbabwe test less than a fortnight ago was nothing less than the result of decent training and a little bit of fate?
Alex Banks, Wales

It's very easy to critisize another country and give an opinion. We should applaud the PCB for conducting an inquiry into match fixing and then publishing their report, though I personally feel the other six players should also be banned for life. To suspend Pakistan is not a solution, the ICC has to come up with plans to make sure that match fixing will not be done at any level in any country. To only ban Pakistan as a result of the inquiry they undertook means the problem will still exist in other countries.
Bader Cheema, USA/Pakistan

Great! What a brilliant idea initiated by the most pious on the earth. It's hard to imagine the prejudice and lack of objectivity on the part of those who initiated this idea. Tell me so far who had the courage to have such a comprehensive inquiry? Pakistan should be credited not punished. They did an honourable job to be above self and lived to their consciensous. One must look into their own deeds before suggesting anything for others.
Dr Anwar Ahmad, Pakistan (USA)



Millions of cricket spectators and fans have been cheated by these match-fixing cricketers

Esan Sell, Australia
The question of banning the Pakistan cricket team is not only mischievous but also suggestive as well. The recent deluge of match fixing charges was unleashed by Indian Police when Hansie Cronje was implicated after a on- day series in India. The ICC met under Jagmohan Dalmiya, also an Indian, in London within the next two days. At the very hint of clash between Cronje and the Indian Police, we in Pakistan feared a backlash against Pakistani players, some of whom are close to making cricket records. Some cricketing countries may have the hopes of fulfilling their long cherished hopes through other means. Our apprehensions are coming true. There is a great deal of talent in Pakistan and the guilty should be penalised while a chance should be given to the talented and fair players.
Naveed Khattak, Pakistan

Millions of cricket spectators and fans have been cheated by these match-fixing cricketers as they have played for own benifits. It is unacceptable. I would recommond these players should be thrown out of any sport in the world.
Esan Sell, Australia

I think this decision to ban two players who have not played for Pakistan for nearly two to three years and letting all front-line players off with a fine, needs to be re-handled by the ICC in a strict manner. The ICC should ask Pakistan's board to act with force against some current players or else suspend Pakistan from playing cricket.
Vikrant, USA

I think Pakistan is to be commended for releasing this report, "unchanged" in the words of Justice Qayyum.

Like Justice Qayyum, I would have liked for it to have covered through the 1999 World Cup because there is something to those rumours

Rajiv Sing, India
However, it is very short-sighted to attempt to ban Pakistan. Do you think such an action would encourage other nations to take similar action against their beloved players ? Pakistan is to be commended and should be lauded by the ICC. These players who were fined know that it is more than a fine they are paying; they are tarnished for life and have lost the respect of the fans. Anyhow, cricket without Pakistan would simply be a crime.
Rajiv Sing, India

I think that the penalties were fair but I still doubt the penalties imposed on Wasim Akram and all the other current playing cricketers. I mean why were they excused and what is the meaning of a fine ? If the board has found them guilty then they should face a life ban or they should simply be released of all fines, and as far as the ban of the whole Pakistani team is concerned, not at all. Pakistan has become a role model for all the test playing nations and I would definitely state Australia and SouthAfrica in this regard
Mansoor Ali Khan, Pakistan



These players enjoy the status of demi-gods. Do they even understand that every time they throw a match they break, quite literally, a billion hearts

Vivek, India
Since Pakistan has one of the best teams in the world it would not be in favour of cricket to ban Pakistan. It would be better if the ICC carried out an investigation and banned specific players found involved in match-fixing.
Govinda Raj Poudel, Nepal

It takes more than one or two players to fix a match. The fact that key players refused to co-operate clearly suggests deception. These players can be assumed guilty, should be banned and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) must be held liable. Banning Pakistan may go too far as South Africa, Australia and India will be next. The PCB should have made examples of current stars and not yesterday's players.
Ahmed

The game of cricket is a wonderful game that we all love. It teaches team spirit, respect, loyalty and above all gamesmanship. It's not just the game I love, it's the whole community involved. Anyone who betrays this great sport and what it stands for should hold their heads in shame. Pakistan's standing in world cricket shouldn't be questioned, they're a good side with a lot of potential and their young players shouldn't lose out on promising careers because of the greed of others. It's the individuals that should be severely dealt with and banned from the game forever.
James Craker, London, United Kingdom



An amnesty would seem to be the only sensible solution in return for a full disclosure

Mick, UK
The match-fixing problem has taken such a toll, especially in South Asia, that it becomes quite difficult now to eradicate it. Pakistan has started the initial work of punishing those found linked with this problem. Other countries should follow this example. Suspending a country will not serve the purpose as the problem is omni-present.
Bakht Baidar, France

The Pakistani inquiry shows there has been some corruption, and suggests there has been a fair bit more. I have no confidence at all that any of the other test-playing countries have addressed the issue to even this degree of honesty. But we need to know how corrupt it is, before we can be confident that we are addressing future corruption. An amnesty would seem to be the only sensible solution in return for a full disclosure. Given the propensity for not walking, tampering with the ball, claiming catches after the ball has bounced, etc., etc., I would gently suggest that a cricketer's definition of integrity should not necessarily be relied upon.
Mick, UK

Banning the Pakistan team is not a solution. As of now ban the individual players in question and impose hefty fines on them. Then the ICC should pass a law that in the future, if players of a particular nation are involved in match fixing that nation would be banned from playing cricket for 10 years. That would ensure that the respective boards take these things seriously and come up with measures to prevent match fixing.
Vijay, India

The ICC should demand more fines for Australian, Pakistan, South African and Indian players and should eliminate these four cricket nations in 2003 World Cup. This will give all cricket boards a good lesson in how to deal with their players. If the above suggestion is not taken seriously, fixing of matches will remain and the game of cricket will not attract new countries and supporters
T. Mubarak, Abu Dhabi



If the ICC bans Pakistan, no other country will feel free to expose any culpability in any of their players for fear of their country being banned from International tournaments

R. Mohamed, Sri Lanka

I think that it is absolutely unfair to call for banning Pakistan from international cricket. Before saying such things it is important to recognise that if Pakistan should be banned then other countries such as Australia and South Africa should also be banned. The Australian cricket authorities themselves were involved in hiding the truth from everybody and did not come out until the story was uncovered by the newspapers. Their players were the first ones to be found guilty of match-fixing but got away with next to nothing. Players from other countries such as England and India have been accused of throwing matches but no action has been taken against them. It is about time the international authorities stop their racial behaviour and deal fairly to get rid of this problem. The Pakistani report is only a small part of the bigger story. They should first get hold of cricketers from other countries including South Africa and Australia and then thinking of banning Pakistan.
Waleed Khalid, Pakistan

Should Pakistan be banned? I think it should be applauded for bringing the whole issue out in the open. I hope Australia, South Africa and other cricketing nations should take steps like Pakistan to bring justice to players who are tarnishing the image of cricket.
Rafi Ud Din Aamer, USA/Pakistan

Pakistan has set an example of conducting detailed inquiries and implementing the findings. Other nations are unlikely to do the same yet I'm appalled by the call to suspend Pakistan from world cricket. Does that mean every country which makes an effort to clean up their act should be suspended ? Wouldn't it be fairer to suspend those guilty of cover ups
Mahmood Shah, England



Pakistan should be banned indefinitely from test cricket until they get their house in order - cricket is a gentleman's game

Steve Smith, England
The problem is that the corruption in Pakistan is more transparent then in the other cricketing nations. I think individual players should be banned but not the national team itself, that would penalise those honest players who have resisted offers of bribes.
Noshin Khan, London, UK

While it may be all well and good to point the finger at Pakistan, match fixing is a world-wide problem for which all guilty parties should be made accountable. It is laughed off when mention is made of Denis Lillee and other members of the Australian Team betting on themselves to lose in the famous 1981 Headingley Test against England at odds of over 100-1. The ACB brushed under the carpet the allegations against "chief whistleblower" Shane Warne and Mark Waugh. The ECB has also had allegations made in recent months but have not acted on them. I think what is really to blame is the archaic attitude the powers-that-be of cricket have towards the sport today. Cricket is no longer the Old English gentleman┐s game anymore. It is highly competitive, commercially attractive and if a more modern approach is not taken towards the latest controversy then I'm afraid cricket is going to continue on a downward descent into ignominy.
Shazad H Dad, England

You cannot ban a nation for the wrong doings of a few individuals. People at the ICC should get off their high pedestal and stop finding faults only with the Asian countries, they should put their house in order before thinking of imposing further penalties against the Pakistanis.
J.Kamal, Pakistan

Pakistan is the only country which has done such an extensive enquiry in the affair of match fixing. By reading the report I have come to the conclusion that the culprits are banned.

Banning Pakistan will be counter productive - there are not enough cricketing nations to ban one from all competitions

Will Lack, England
Players who have no evidence against them were fined because of bringing the name of the country into disrepute. It would be unfair and racist to ban Pakistan from international cricket or even change the punishment. ICC has never changed the punishment of Warne and Waugh, England has hidden their enquiry and declared every one clean. Remember where there is smoke there is fire. Furthermore, the judge Qayyum hinted in his report that Salim Malik might have approached Shane Warne and Steve Waugh because they might have links with bookies and were known to "fix".
Shehzad Nabi, London, UK

Nice to read such balanced and wonderful comments by people from 'developed' and 'democratic' countries, criticising other's corruption and judicial system, forgetting their colonisation ages, their justice with peoples whom they colonised and looted their lands, and their selective moralities. Its too easy to make others a scapegoat but requires moral courage to look for wrong in oneself. I am all for banning Pakistan provided South Africa be banned for Hansie Cronje and of course many others, Australia be banned for initially Rod Marsh and Dennis Lillee (the first players with whom match-fixing was associated), Shane Warne and Mark Waugh.
Ather Imran Nawaz, Pakistan

The six remaining members of the current Pakistani squad should be banned for life. The Pakistan Cricket Board should not be lenient to these players when national honour is at stake. Pakistan has great talent, and I am sure these players could easily be replaced.
Adnan, Pakistan



Suspending Pakistan would lay a counter productive precedent. Pakistan has done well to ban those implicated and the entire country should not be blamed for the actions of a few

Zeeshan Amin, USA

As with umpires, neutrality is the key. International groups with the necessary expertise should be established to investigate all allegations of corruption in all Test-playing countries. For the moment, I have lost interest in watching any 1-day cricket.
David Bennet, Resident in Pakistan


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See also:

25 May 00 | Cricket
'Fixing' sanctions could increase
25 May 00 | Cricket
Justice Qayyum's report
24 May 00 | South Asia
Former cricketer accuses Kapil Dev
24 May 00 | Cricket
Cronje faces fresh controversy
25 May 00 | Cricket
Salim Malik: Tarnished talent
24 May 00 | Cricket
Malik guilty of match-fixing
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