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Leading cricketing figures feel spot fixing scandal has "tainted" cricket

Leading cricketing figures have expressed disappointment over three Pakistan cricketers being found guilty in the spot fixing scandal, saying the incident has "tainted" the popular sport.
 
Former captain Salman Butt, 27, and fast bowler Mohammad Asif, 28, were both found guilty of conspiracy to cheat and conspiracy to accept corrupt payments. Another bowler, Mohammad Amir, admitted the charges before the trial.
 
They plotted to deliberately bowl no-balls during a Lord's Test match against England last summer.
 
Following the verdict, leading cricketing figures said the scandal had "tainted" cricket and they were concerned that match-fixing in the sport could be even more widespread than was already known, the BBC reports.
 
Dickie Bird, retired international umpire, said betting scams were "like a cancer" and would "eat the game away".
 
"I won't say there have been shortcomings, but they have got to look at it now and get a grip on world cricket. I never thought I would live to see this day. Never. I cannot think this is happening to our game," he said.
 
The Pakistan match-fixing scandal has had a "major impact" on world cricket, according to the body representing past and present first-class cricketers in England and Wales.
 
"There are still a lot of questions about the extent to which any players in the game are being exposed and rooted out and, indeed, whether this is a one-off linked to a newspaper sting," Angus Porter, Chief Executive of Professional Cricketers'' Association, said.
 
"It has been an important case, but nobody should take the view one way or another that this case has been a major breakthrough. It was, in my view, a one-off case," he added.

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