LONDON: International Cricket Council chief executive David Richardson poured cold water on suggestions match-fixers should face mandatory life-bans as Pakistan’s Mohammad Amir made his Test return at Lord’s on Thursday.
Richardson also said the withdrawal of so many top golfers from the Rio Olympics next month had made it harder for sports such as cricket, that were considering bids for Games status.
But with no prospect of Twenty20 at the Olympics until the 2024 Games at the earliest, the question of how the ICC deals with fixers is likely to remain a more immediate concern.
Thursday’s match at Lord’s was Amir’s first appearance in a Test since the infamous spot-fixing clash against England at ‘the home of cricket’ in 2010.
That match saw Amir and Pakistan new-ball partner Mohammad Asif deliberately bowl no-balls on the instructions of then captain Salman Butt as part of a newspaper ‘sting’ operation.
All three received five-year bans from cricket and jail terms.
England captain Alastair Cook has been among those calling for life bans instead, although ex-England skipper Mike Atherton has argued that players such as Amir, a teenager at the time of his ban, deserved more sympathetic treatment.
It was a view shared by Richardson.
“I am not uncomfortable with it at all,” Richardson, speaking at Lord’s, told BBC Radio’s Test Match Special when asked about Amir’s return. –AFP