Former captain Imran Khan [ Images ] does not approve of life bans on the guilty Pakistani players for spot-fixing during the Lord's Test, as it did not influence the outcome of the match. Instead, he says, limited sanctions and huge fines should be imposed on the cricketers for their criminal activities.
Imran also feels the entire Pakistan team should not be banned for the criminal activities of a few national players.
"I think the ICC [ Images ] is going to take its own decision. But, in my opinion, the message should go that the crime does not pay. For spot-fixing, bowling a no-ball, they should suffer heavy on their pocket and be imposed a heavy fine [rather] than a life ban. It really should set an example... and [the] fine should be huge," Imran said.
"It should be a proper ban that they should be out of cricket for a while. But differentiate between the two. One a team deliberately throws there is nothing, but a life ban. Secondly, one indulges in such way, like spot-betting, that does not affect the outcome of the game. They should suffer financially and [get] a limited ban, not a life ban. Otherwise, how will we find out the spot betting?" he told CNN-IBN.
Angered by the spot-fixing allegations, many critics have called for a ban on the Pakistan cricket team, but Imran said it would be unfair to ostracise a complete side for the criminal activities of a few individuals.
"Why should Pakistan cricket be banned? What Pakistan cricket has to do with this?" the former Pakistan skipper questioned.
"If a cricketer indulges in crime... for instance, if an Indian cricketer indulges in shop-lifting, would you ban the whole team?" Imran asked.
"It's a crime and the criminal should be punished, but the game of cricket must go on. You can't allow Pakistan cricket to suffer for these guys. The anger and demoralisation in Pakistan is far more than in any other country," he said.
The former all-rounder also blamed the Pakistan Cricket Board for not probing the fixing allegations right to its roots when match-fixing first surfaced in 1993.
"I had captained for 10 years and left in 1992. We heard about match-fixing for the first time in 1993. I remember there was an enquiry about match-fixing and I remember approaching the enquiry.
"I think there was an experience in it. If they had followed that enquiry right to the root of the problem, and they had ensured to go against anyone behind this incident, we would have not been in this situation today," Imran said.