Former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja has called Salman Butt a liar and ridiculed the suspended cricketers defence against allegations of spot-fixing as a big joke.
The following are excerpts (alphabetically)
RICHARD PYBUS: Pakistan cricket officialdom is ridden with nepotism and sycophancy… With every regime change, they appoint different people — the chairman of the Board brings in his cronies. Cricket is the No. 1 sport, it holds huge status in peoples minds, and they want to be involved in it. So in the end, you have nepotism and sycophancy, and players end up operating at the behest of whatever regime comes in. There are some professional administrators who do good work, but they are at the mercy of the people above them. They are like corks on the sea. The cronies are not experienced at working in professional sport.
RAMIZ RAJA: Butts claims are a joke, a big joke. If you are implicated, youve got to come out straight away and say, Ive not done this, I dont care what the allegations are, Im not involved and that is the truth. He has not done that, he has come across as a big liar. I am so heavily and thoroughly disappointed by the Pakistan captain… You look at match-fixing and the captain has to be crooked, theyve got to be involved, along with some of the major players in the team, for it to happen. It all depends on the captain. The way it was told in the paper 10th over, sixth ball it actually did happen. Its up to the captain to ensure the bowler is still operating in the 10th over… I thought Butt was intelligent enough to understand the importance of leading Pakistan and setting an example. This is going to hurt Pakistan cricket. We have become a laughing stock. These players have brought shame on Pakistans history. They have been caught in the act. Nothing can detract from that fact…
DANIEL VETTORI: It will be pretty sad for cricket if all the allegations are proven because the last thing anyone wants is for supporters to start thinking theres no point in watching because the results are already decided. The greatest result would obviously be that it was all untrue. But if not, if a clean-up can come from it, then hopefully it will make cricket as squeaky clean as it possibly can be. My personal view is that if youre caught, you have to be banned for life. Thats the only way that you are going to stamp it out and if these allegations are proven to be true then there has to be a precedent set.