I feel sorry for Aamer but glad that ICC took action: Waugh

Poonam Mehra

Abu Dhabi, Feb 7 (PTI) Steve Waugh feels sorry for youngPakistan pacer Mohammed Aamer, who was handed a five-year banfor being involved in spot-fixing, but the former Australianskipper is glad that the ICC sent out a strong message byacting tough on corruption in international cricket.

Apart from the 18-year-old Aamer, the ICC bannedPakistan''s former Test skipper Salman Butt and pacer MohammadAsif for 10 and seven years respectively for their involvementin the spot-fixing scandal that shook international cricketlast year.

"All I know is that ICC has stepped up and I am glad thatthey have acted. I feel sorry for Aamir because he is a youngkid. I am sure he would learn that he should not interact withcertain people, be careful of certain individuals," Waugh, whois here for the Laureus World Sports Awards as part of itsjury member, said.

"As a young kid, I hope he takes the sentence positivelyand learns. Obviously it can be reduced as well."

The two-time World Cup winning captain has been bombardedwith queries on the various teams'' chances at the World Cupstarting next week and though he has given Australia only anoutside chance, Waugh said the focus would firmly be on thethree-time defending champions once they land in thesub-continent.

"Nobody is talking about them right now but I am sure thefocus will be on Australia once they come to India. They havehad a good one-day series (against England). In fact theirone-day form has been pretty good. So once they come, it willbe like ''hang on, Australia have a chance too''," he said.

Ever since Shane Warne retired, Australia have beenstruggling for an elusive world-class spinner to replace himand given that the World Cup will be played on the dustbowlsof the sub-continent, having a good slow bowler would becrucial.

But Waugh said Ricky Ponting''s team has enough goodspinners to do the job.

"We have got enough spinners. They don''t have to beworld-beaters, just doing their job well enough would do. Inmy assessment the likes of Nathan Hauritz are pretty capable,"he said. .

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