LAHORE: While reckoning the latest fixing scandal in the Indian Premier League (IPL) as highly damaging for the game, former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ijaz Butt on Friday said that time had come for the International Cricket Council (ICC) to take stern action to root out the menace.

Talking to Dawn, Ijaz urged the authorities concerned to take appropriate action against what he termed the ‘big fishes’ involved in the fresh IPL spot-fixing scandal.

The latest spot-fixing controversy of the IPL had jolted the cricketing world and the ugly story had put reputation of the entire cricket fraternity at stake, he stressed.

Three Indian cricketers, belonging to Rajasthan Royals team in the IPL, namely fast bowler Shanthakumaran Sreesanth (who has played 27 Tests and 53 ODIs for India), Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan were arrested by police in the latest scam that surfaced the other day.

According to some media reports emerging on Friday, Sreesanth and Chavan confessed the spot-fixing allegations.

To a question, Ijaz said it was ironic that despite a strict code of conduct put in place by the ICC and non-stop vigilance maintained by the game’s world governing body, corrupt practices were still going on.

“The harsh punishments handed to [Pakistan cricketers] Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamir over spot-fixing should have been taken by other cricketers as a lesson. Instead, some of them are committing the same act.

“Therefore, I believe stricter measures and action against all those involved in this [fixing] practice is the need of the time,” he stated.

Ijaz lamented that so far the ICC on its end had failed to detect corruption in the game, noting only media or police unearthed such scandals in the past.

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