Johannesburg: The Champions League Twenty20, starting here on Friday, will give cricket fans around the world an opportunity to shift their focus on the game from the murky spot-fixing scandal involving Pakistani players, feel international cricketers.
Australian pacer Shaun Tait said the ‘spot-fixing’ scam was a slur on the game and CLT20 will bring a breath of fresh air for the fans.
“It is good time for this tournament to happen because cricket will be moving forward. People will at last get to see a competitive tournament rather than look at the rubbish going on in England,” he said today referring to the ‘spot-fixing’ reports.
“The tournament is happening in the perfect time because it will shift the focus back on cricket,” added Tait, who will be playing in the CLT20 for South Australian Redback side.
Cricket plunged into crisis after an expose by a British tabloid showed three Pakistani players – Test captain Salman Butt and pace duo of Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamir – were allegedly involved in spot-fixing during the Lord’s Test against England.
The tainted trio were suspended by the International Cricket Council and an investigation by Scotland Yard is going on.
Big-hitting West Indian all-rounder Kieron Pollard was also of the view that CLT20 brings an opportunity to regain spectators’ faith in the game.
“I don’t want to speak on the topic because I am not involved in it and so far in my career nothing like this happened. The most we (cricketers) can do at this moment is play competitive, hard and fair cricket whenever we get on to the field be it CLT20 or in international matches,” said Pollard, who will be representing Mumbai Indians in the tournament.
South African middle-order batsman JP Duminy, however, expressed sympathy for 19-year-old promising left-arm pacer Aamir but said when it comes to match-fixing he always prefer to remain extra vigilant.
“It is a pity that such serious and big allegations have come into cricket. But personally, I always try to keep myself miles away from all these things. For a cricketer it’s about saying right things at the right time and remaining extra careful,” the left-hander said.
“I feel for Aamir. It is a pity to be in this position, especially in this young age. I hope he comes out clean and enjoy a long career,” added Duminy, who will turn out for Mumbai Indians in CLT20.