Match fixers should be banned for life: Farokh Engineer

Kolkata: Expressing regret at ex-New Zealand cricketer Chris Cairns facing trial over match fixing allegations, former India stumper Farokh Engineer on Monday called for life ban for match and spot fixers.

"Match fixers should be banned for life. Chris Cairns is a sad case, what a fantastic cricketer he was, but people now will remember him only for the match fixing allegations and not his cricket," Engineer said during a media interaction here.

Cairns is alleged to have attempted to manipulate games while playing for the now defunct Indian Cricket League.

Engineer, who played 46 test matches for India, termed spot fixing as the worst malady.

"Spot fixing is the worst of all. Just to bowl a no-ball you get thousands and thousands of pounds. People may think what harm a single no-ball can do, what they don't realise is by doing one such thing, they get sucked into the whole match fixing affair. You just can't get out of that vicious circle," said the 77-year-old referring to the Pakistan trio of Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir who were found guilty of spot fixing.

The trio was banned for accepting illegal money to orchestrate deliberate no-balls in the Lord's Test against England in 2010. However, the International Cricket Council allowed Amir to feature in domestic home matches earlier in the year.

"I am glad that Amir has been given a retrieve and I am equally glad that the other two have been punished because they were instrumental dragging the youngster into the fixing.

"Any Indian cricketer, if found guilty of fixing, should be given a life ban. Match fixers or spot fixers, they have no place in cricket," said the former wicketkeeper-batsman.

Talking about the Indian team, Engineer also expressed dismay over the preference of foreigners as a coach for the team.

"I can't fathom, why we continue to suffer from the complex that foreigners can do the job better than us. I can't understand why so much money was wasted on a person like Duncan Fletcher," said Engineer about the former Zimbabwe captain who coached the Indian team.

"I think we should prefer an Indian for the job," he added.

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