Karachi, Feb 6 (PTI) The decision by the ICC to ban thetainted trio of Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamerafter finding the three guilty of spot-fixing has invitedstrong reactions from the cricket fraternity in Pakistan withformer players terming it a step towards cleaning the fixingmenace from the game.
Many ex-cricketers, administrators and legal experts wereof the view that the ICC''s anti-corruption tribunal had nooption but to act after charges against the trio were provedbut there was definite sympathy for 18-year old Aamer withmany feeling the five-year ban on him was a bit harsh.
"It is a sad day for Pakistan cricket but I think in thelong run it will help stabilise our cricket set up and alsoserve as a warning to players from other countries. The ICCmust not rest with this one step to eradicate corruption andfixing menace and should be more vigilant and tighten theiranti-corruption clauses," former Test captain Rashid Latifsaid.
"The bans on these players are not only a black day andshame for the Pakistan cricket but for the entire nation. Ifthe players still believe they are innocent of the chargesthey should keep on fighting to overturn these bans and mustappeal.
"But if these players are guilty then these bans will bea real lesson for our future generation of cricketers.
"In the case of Aamer, I think he can still resume hiscricket career after five years but as far as Asif and Buttare concerned their careers are finished," former captain MoinKhan said.
Former captain Zaheer Abbas said if the evidence wasstrong against the players, then the bans were justified.
"Because in my book no player is indispensable and can bereplaced. Nothing is greater then the honour and name of thecountry.
"I was expecting these bans but it came as a surprisethat their was no leniency also shown to Aamer," Abbas said.
Former Test pacer Sarfaraz Nawaz backed the bansinsisting the players knew what they were getting into whenthey indulged in corruption.
"No justification at all for allowing anyone to corruptcricket."
Another former Test pacer Jalaluddin said he felt bad asimage of the Pakistan cricket took a beating due to thesebans.
"If these players were guilty of spot-fixing theydeserved the punishments as it will serve as a deterrent toour future cricketers and they will know what their careerscan become if they indulge in corruption," he said.
Former chief executive of the Pakistan board, Arif Abbasialso supported the ICC tribunal decision.
"Honestly speaking to me anyone who tries to play aroundwith the sacred nature of this sport he deserves longer bansspecially Salman Butt." (More) PTI Corr SHN