The 'spot-fixing' scandal that has engulfed world cricket is like a cancer that can spread and devalue the game if the authorities do not act fast enough to root it out, said England captain Andrew Strauss.
"These allegations of corruption hurt the game of cricket. Every one of them that comes to light damages the game. Ultimately, they are a bit of a cancer that can spread and devalue the game," he said.
"I think every cricketer in the world has received a short sharp slap in the face to where this game is at the moment and where it needs to be going in the future," Strauss was quoted as saying by Daily Telegraph. Strauss, however, said most of the cricketers are still clean and the game can overcome the latest scandal.
"Despite the allegations that have been out there I still maintain that cricket generally is a very clean sport and two teams are playing to beat the other 100 per cent," Strauss said.
"We need to reconnect with the game for the right reasons. Cricket has survived many controversies over the years and will continue to do so. That's why we need to move on and make sure the game is very clean from now on," he added. He said his side was happy to continue the series once the three tainted Pakistani players were suspended by the International Cricket Council and barred from continuing with the tour.
"All we know is that ICC have sufficient grounds to suspend three players but not more at this stage. In that sense we are happy to play on. From our point of view we are looking to move on to playing cricket again. I think that's an important thing to stress," Strauss said.
"While obviously not diminishing the importance of these allegations, we need to make sure we get back on the pitch and make sure the game moves forward in the right way."
Pakistan Test captain Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamir were suspended by the ICC and interrogated by Scotland Yard after a British tabloid claimed in a sting operation that they took bribe from a bookie to bowl deliberate no-balls during a Test match against England at Lord's two weeks ago.