London, Feb 7 (PTI) Former England skipper MichaelVaughan has expressed his displeasure over the InternationalCricket Council''s (ICC) decision not to ban three Pakistanplayers for life for their involvement in spot-fixing.
Vaughan said the punishments meted out to the taintedtrio of Salman Butt, Muhammad Asif and Muhammad Aamer showedthat the sport''s world governing body missed out on anopportunity to flush corruption out of the game.
"The punishments handed out to the three Pakistancricketers over spot-fixing allegations were just anotherexample of how the International Cricket Council operates.
We were led to believe there was a zero-tolerance policy andthat anyone found guilty of corruption would be banned forlife.
"That was what Haroon Lorgat, the ICC chief executive,and others have repeatedly said since the scandal first broke,so I am very surprised they did not impose more severepunishments. This was an opportunity to set the ultimatedeterrent. There was a stack of evidence. These cases are veryhard to prove but having found the players guilty, the ICCwere presented with the chance to take a stand," Vaughan wrotein his column in ''Daily Telegraph''.
An ICC Anti-Corruption tribunal had on Saturday bannedformer captain Butt for 10 years, with five years of suspendedsentence, Asif for seven years with two years suspension andAamer for five years.
The tribunal, chaired by QC Michael Beloff, found thethree Pakistani players guilty of charges relating tospot-fixing at the Lord''s Test match between England andPakistan in August last year.
Vaughan also disagreed with the ICC commissioner SharadRao''s statement that said spot-fixing does not actually affectthe result of the match at all.
"I am sorry but if you are bowling no-balls then you arechanging the outcome of a game. It is affecting the course ofthe match. No matter how small the offence is, a Test matchcould be won or lost by a couple of runs so bowling a no-ballcould be the difference," he said.
Vaughan, a veteran of 82 Tests and 86 ODIs, also addedthe bans would mean that Butt and Aamer would return tointernational cricket considering their current age.
"Mohammad Asif may be a little bit too old and might notreturn but Salman Butt and Mohammad Aamer will be back. Theywill probably play in the 2015 World Cup and it would not be amassive surprise to see Butt captaining Pakistan again.
"Aamer is a young kid and many feel that giving him alife ban would have been too harsh, but I feel it is the onlyway to clear corruption out of the game. It is the besteducation," he said.