Abu Dhabi, Feb 7 (IANS): In the wake of the banning of three Pakistani cricketers for spot-fixing, International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive Haroon Lorgat said the world body has been harsh with the corrupt players and assured the World Cup will be corruption free.
The banning comes two weeks before the start of the World Cup, and Lorgat said the ICC is confident of the mega event being a corruption-free affair.
"I am confident for two reasons (that the World Cup will be free from corruption). The main one is that the vast majority of players are honest players. They do play the game in the spirit that it should be played. They are not seeking to make gains out of untoward means," Lorgat was quoted as saying by The National.
"Secondly, we are alive to what could come to the fore in terms of corruption. We have measures in place, and people forget we had been tracking this long before the News of the World had broken the story. I am satisfied we will have measures in place at the World Cup. We will increase capacity because we realise things do change," he added.
Lorgat said that the ICC is now more vigilant and has increased the number of staff detailed to police corruption since the scandal involving three Pakistai crickters, Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammed Aamer, broke during the Lord's Test in August.
Butt, the former Pakistan captain, was banned for 10 years, five years of which is a suspended sentence. Pacers Asif and Aamer were suspended for seven and five years after being found guilty of breaching the ICC's anti-corruption code.
Contrary to belief that the ICC has been lenient towards the cricketers, Lorgat said the sanctions meted out were severe enough.
"I don't think these punishments are lenient by any stretch of the imagination. In legal terms, you have to be proportionate when you mete out punishment. We must distinguish between match-fixing and spot-fixing. This is a very experienced group of judges. They have enormous experience and expertise and they are independent. They have applied their minds and decided on what is a proportionate sanction," he said.
Lorgat also said that ICC had had discussions about recommending to the Indian government to legalise gambling on sport.
"I agree with the notion that if it is regulated it is a lot better than if it is not regulated," he said. "We have made inquiries, and these are the things we are working towards."