Karachi, Feb 6 (PTI) Former Pakistan fast bowling greatWasim Akram today said it would be very hard for the threebanned players -- Salman Butt, Mohammad Aamer and MohammedAsif -- to get rid of the stigma associated with the bansimposed on them for spot-fixing.
"I do feel sorry for the players and I can imagine whatthey must be going through right now particularly theirfamilies and friends," Wasim said.
"This incident comes at a time when the whole country isgoing through a low patch and it is a tough situation for allPakistanis," he added.
The former captain however backed the bans by the ICCanti-corruption tribunal insisting they would be like a lessonto other cricket playing nations as well.
"All this is very sad news for Pakistan and theseyoungsters but they made mistakes and they must face themusic. But I feel the tribunal verdict shows that the ICC isserious about tackling any corruption in cricket," he said.
Wasim said the bans were also a reminder to the othercricket boards that it was their job to educate and groomyoung players who come from humble backgrounds and educateplayers about anti-corruption measures.
"I think it is job of management to let the players knowclearly who they should associate with, who they should meetbecause youngsters need to be taught about their future incricket," he added.
Wasim said he felt specially sad for left arm pacer Aamerwho is just 18 and has been banned for five years.
"He is a wonderful talent and this ban will effect hiscareer. Removing this stigma would be difficult for the trio."
Wasim said it was time for Pakistan cricket fans to moveon and focus on the World Cup by supporting the national team,which was now looking good.
"We have the World Cup head of us and we need to supportour team now," he said.