ICC needs to act quickly on match-fixing

Cricket`s image has taken a beating due to the match-fixing scandal surrounding the Pakistan team, Australian captain Ricky Ponting said on Sunday as he called on the ICC to act fast and clean up the game.

Asked whether the image of the game has been tarnished by the corruption allegations, Ponting said, "There`s no doubt in my mind about that."

"The events of the last couple of weeks have had a big impact I`m sure around the world on the way that the game is viewed, but that`s completely out of our hands," Ponting said at a press conference before boarding the flight to India for a two-Test and three-ODI series starting October 1.

"The ICC need to be doing whatever they can to get on top of these things as quickly as possible and deal with them as quickly as possible.”

"They`ve done a pretty good job over the last few weeks already and with this latest allegation, hopefully they will get to the bottom of this pretty quick as well," he added.

Three Pakistani cricketers -- Test captain Salman Butt and pacers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamir -- have been suspended by the ICC for their alleged involvement in spot-fixing during last month`s Test series against England.

The scandal has got murkier after the ICC yesterday launched a probe into the third ODI between England and Pakistan after a British tabloid tipped off the governing body about some suspicious scoring pattern during the visiting team`s innings.

Ponting said the players can hardly do anything except for playing good cricket to ensure that the fans don`t get disillusioned.

"There`s nothing we can do about that," he said.

"As an Australian cricket team, all we can do is play the best brand of cricket and the most attractive brand of cricket that we can play, day in and day out.”

"It`s important that we do that over the next weeks, realising that is the number one ranked team in the world against Australia," he added.

Ponting said he hoped that by playing good cricket, his team would be able to turn things around positively.

"I think if we all do the right thing on the field, hopefully there will be something positive coming back on the newspaper pages about the game of cricket, which is what we will try and achieve," he said.

"Unfortunately for Pakistan at the moment now, the situation that they are in, there`s going to be those sort of allegations are going to be floating around for quite a while I think," he added.


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