Melbourne, Sep 8 (IANS): At a time when the cricketing world wants Pakistan banned for a series of match-fixing scandals involving its players, Australian captain Ricky Ponting says cricket cannot afford to lose Pakistan.
Three Pakistani players -- captain Salman Butt, and pacers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer -- are preparing to respond to International Cricket Council (ICC) on spot-fixing charges after a British tabloid in a sting operation exposed that Asif and Aamer took cash for bowling no-balls during the Lord's Test against England.
Ponting is against any collective punishment of Pakistani cricket.
"I think that's going a bit too far, let's just start with the people we know about at the moment and make sure they're dealt with in the appropriate manner," Ponting was quoted as saying by Fox Sports.
"I think to ban a whole team would probably be a bit unfair. The world game doesn't really need that, (and) can't really afford that to happen. I know the world game can't afford these sorts of scandals happening in the game either," he said.
"One thing we've learned from the anti-corruption guys over the years is once these guys have had their claws into you, then there's no way to get away," he said. "So maybe they'd had their claws in before."
"We as an Australian group of players are educated very well on this and know how to handle different situations that pop up," said Ponting.