Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Strauss: Players Must Do What Is Right for Cricket

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Strauss: Players Must Do What Is Right for Cricket

Article excerpt

Byline: Tom Collomosse in Dubai

[bar] HE build-up to England's Test series against Pakistan has been dominated by the memory of the spot-fixing scandal but Andrew Strauss today took the opportunity to address similar problems in the domestic game.

Despite the calls for calm from Strauss and his opposite number Misbah-ul-Haq when the three-match series begins here tomorrow, there remains the potential for animosity only 17 months after the spot-fixing scandal at Lord's, which resulted in custodial sentences being handed to Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir in November.

Cricket's rulers were reminded of the threat to the game's integrity again last week when Mervyn Westfield, the former Essex fast bowler, pleaded guilty to corruption. Westfield admitted accepting a payment of [pounds sterling]6,000 to bowl poorly in a one-day match between Essex and Durham in 2009.

In response to the Westfield case, the England and Wales Cricket Board have granted a three-month amnesty to try to encourage players who are aware of spot fixing to come forward -- and Strauss warned his fellow players not to withhold such information.

"I think it's a good initiative from the ECB," said England's Test captain. "This is not the time to show loyalty to teammates or friends or people you know. This is the time to do what is right for the game of cricket.

"The ECB have provided an amnesty for players to come forward in the next three months and I'd urge them to do that if they do have any information. We need to get it dealt with and move on. If you want world cricket to be in good order then you have to make sure your own house is clean first.

"I think there is a lot more awareness now on the back of what has happened in the last couple of years.

"However, it's something we always have to be vigilant about.

"We have heavy schedules internationally and domestically and there is always the opportunity for people to think that one game is less important than another and, therefore, that they might be able to benefit from it. …

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