England batsman Jonathan Trott says he was shocked and sickened by the news of alleged 'spot-fixing' by three Pakistani players during the fourth Test at Lord's last weekend.
Trott, who scored 184 and shared a world record eighth-wicket partnership of 332 with Stuart Broad in the fourth Test victory, told SunSport that he was taken aback by the scandal.
"I had always hoped that I would never have to witness anything like this in my playing career, that it would never happen to me," said the man-of-the-series of the Test series.
Pakistan captain Salman Butt and pace bowlers Mohammad Aamir and Mohammad Asif have been suspended after serious allegations of corruption surfaced during the recent Test series against England. Trott remembered the time when his hero South Africa skipper Hansie Cronje faced allegations of match-fixing and was banned for life in 2000 after confessing to taking cash from bookies.
"When I was growing up in South Africa, I saw what happened to Hansie Cronje. I have very bad memories of that time, I was a young player trying to break through and the whole thing really shook me," said Trott. "I remember seeing him break down crying on TV, it was such an emotional moment. He was the leader of a nation coming out of international isolation, so he was such an inspiration to me.
"But then seeing him crash from the summit of the game to the absolute depths was awful." Trott added: "He ended up a broken man and I remember asking myself how people got involved in that type of thing. And here I am now asking the same question again.
"I still don't know the answer and, to be frank, I don't want to know. "I just know it is totally against everything I believe in and have worked for - I love cricket and I have sacrificed a lot to make it to this level and I'm determined to stay there. "And I am too competitive, too much of a winner to ever be tempted to take any liberties."
The 29-year-old said his elation of scoring a match winning knock quickly turned into desolation as the news of the fixing scandal began to break.
"It was a surreal weekend. Naturally, I was on an amazing high on Saturday night. But I was too tired to celebrate at all - not even a quick glass of champagne.
"I just went back to my room and watched TV and played on my Xbox. Then, at around 10pm, I started to hear the rumours. So I was ringing around my team-mates to find out what they had heard," Trott said.
"It was an amazing story claiming the Pakistan bowlers had deliberately bowled no-balls in some sort of spot-fixing betting scam.
"I could not believe what I was hearing. I couldn't stop asking questions: 'What is going to happen now in the morning? Are Pakistan even going to turn up? Will there be police at the ground waiting to arrest them?' All sorts of things were going through my mind.
"It was certainly a very eerie, strained atmosphere at Lord's on Sunday morning.
"This was a Test match at the home of cricket, and the whole day was being overshadowed by these allegations and accusations.
"I remember when young Aamir had to come out and bat there were boos and jeers from some and a cold shoulder response from others. As for me, I was in turmoil. There were so many emotions going on - mixed emotions.
"I was angry, I was in shock but I was also very sad.
"Sad for the game of cricket, sad for the England team who had worked so hard for this deserved victory. And, yes, sad for me and Broady after what we'd done.
"I also stood there thinking how I was at Lord's on what should have been such a proud day for me and for England and I felt absolutely terrible.
"Even now, a week later, I find it all so hard to digest, let alone understand.
"I guess some people might be tempted to shrug and say, 'Oh but it's only a few no-balls, what does it matter?' But it matters a great deal.
"The reputation of cricket is at stake and there must be a thorough investigation into these allegations."
Trott was at the non-striker's end on the second day of the Test as 18-year-old Aamir took six wickets to cut through England's top order. Trott urged that England's overall achievements must not be nullified by the scandal - whatever the outcome of the ongoing investigation is.
"Even if these allegations are proven, they should not be allowed to tarnish what we did at Lord's.
"I would hate it if, in the future, people take the tour of Lord's and look up at the honours board and see the details of our victory, our scores, our record partnership - but then say they shouldn't really count because the game wasn't honest.