Jail drug cheats and fixers: Lawson

By , 16 Feb 2013

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    Former Test pace star and Pakistan cricket coach Geoff Lawson has called for Australian drug cheats and match-fixers to be jailed.

    The one suspected case of match-fixing uncovered by the Australian Crime Commission is believed to be a rugby league game played in Sydney.

    Three Pakistan Test cricketers, former captain Salman Butt and fast bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer, were jailed in 2011 for their parts in a spot-fixing conspiracy involving the deliberate bowling of no-balls in the 2010 series in England.

    “I would hope those found guilty of drugs cheating or match fixing in this country suffer a similar fate,” said Lawson, speaking at the Northcott Cricket Legends lunch in Sydney on Friday.

    “Jail time is a pretty serious thing and I know those (Pakistani) guys who went to jail.

    “I can imagine being in Wandsworth prison for three months or six months would be a pretty harrowing experience, but a great example had been set – don’t get me wrong.

    “I didn’t see any examples of that (fixing) when I was coaching (Pakistan in 2007-08).”

    Lawson said cricket history was littered with instances of match-fixing, but felt Australia was better positioned than anywhere else in the world to deal with such a problem.

    “In the 18th century, they wanted cricket banned as a recreation because there was too much betting on it, so nothing has changed from that point of view.

    “We have lawful betting agencies that record every bet.

    “We’ve got to be careful in this country, that we continue to regulate our betting.

    “Lots of betting agencies are sponsoring our sports and that’s a very interesting ethical issue.

    “But I think in this country, we are much better off than anywhere else because we know who puts the bet on.”

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