Pakistan cricket corruption sentences represent a 'line in the sand' for sport

A sports PR expert has warned that the cricket corruption sentences handed out yesterday are a 'line in the sand' for sport generally.

Cricket corruption: 'ICC should have done more'
Cricket corruption: 'ICC should have done more'

Three former Pakistan international cricketers have been handed combined jail sentences totaling four years for their part in the spot-fixing plot during their Test match against England at Lord's last year.

Salman Butt, the Pakistan captain during that Test and a man described by Justice Cooke as ‘the orchestrator of this activity’, was jailed for 30 months.

M&C Saatchi Sports and Entertainment chairman Steve Martin said that while he thought the media was handled very well in the case, more should have been done by the ICC after its own investigation.

‘My only concern is that the ICC should have done more before,’ said Martin. ‘It did its own internal investigation and came out and found they were guilty, so it should have been a life-term ban. The ICC has to show this is a very serious crime.’

Martin added that he did not believe the game’s reputation has been harmed by this, or that sponsorship will suffer, but he did say it will ‘amplify the issue’ of corruption and other sports will be forced to look at their own corruption issues.

‘It doesn’t do the world of sport any good, but it’s a line in the sand,’ said Martin. ‘If it doesn’t happen again, it could be the best thing that ever happened for cricket.’

In today's Daily Mail, former England captain Nasser Hussain wrote: 'The inevitable consequence of the spot-fixing scandal is that you question things you once took for granted. This wound will take a while to heal.'

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