Former skipper Imran Khan should take over Pakistan cricket team to save it from the crisis arising out of the 'spot-fixing' scandal, India's World Cup-winning captain Kapil Dev said on Thursday.
Describing the 1992 World Cup-winning Pakistan captain the "cleanest" cricketer in the nation mired in fixing scandal, Kapil said, "In this time of crisis, I can think of Imran Khan as the cleanest cricketer to look after Pakistan cricket. He can really put the nation out of this controversy."
Kapil added that he felt sorry for Pakistan cricket.
"I really feel sorry for Pakistan cricket and cricketers. Nothing is going right for them at the moment. We don't want Pakistan cricket to die. They have produced some wonderful cricketers over the years," he said. Asked whether the tainted trio of Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamir should be banned if they are found guilty, the former all-rounder merely said the guilty should be punished.
"We should not pre-judge them. Let the right people investigate into the matter. The guilty should be punished," said the 51-year-old who was here to inaugurate the Tea Board of India Chess for Youth tournament. The former India captain urged not to place bets on cricket.
"Never bet on cricket. Let's talk about the positive sides of the game. There are just a two to three percent involved in betting so we should not talk about them. We must talk about the remaining 98 per cent who are doing so much for the betterment of the game."
Appealing to the ICC to bring an end to betting, Kapil said, "This game is really beautiful and very close to all of us, so let's not spoil it."
Pakistan Test skipper Salman Butt and pacers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamir are facing a Scotland Yard investigation over their alleged involvement in a 'spot-fixing' scandal "exposed" by a British tabloid sting operation. Kapil said that sport other than cricket should also be given importance.
"Cricket is not the only sport. Let's think about other sporting disciplines also and take them to the level of cricket. However, this does not mean that we lower the value of cricket. Media should come forward and support every sport in the country," he said while inaugurating the competition at the Netaji Indoor Stadium.