Benefit of the doubt
Nasser Hussain told Sky Sports News of the moment he found out about the claims of fixing at Lord's.
Last Updated: 29/08/10 9:44pm
Nasser Hussain told Sky Sports News of the moment he found out about the allegations of fixing surrounding the fourth Test at Lord's.
Police have arrested a 35-year-old man on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud bookmakers after the News of the World published allegations that a number of Pakistan players accepted money to bowl no-balls.
"We must remember that these are just allegations at the moment - no-one knows what is truth and what isn't - but my initial reaction was 'no, not that 18-year-old (Mohammad Amir), please," said Hussain.
"Out of everyone else he has been a breath of fresh air in this series. He has bowled brilliantly and with a smile on his face. Last night I was lying in bed and the news came on and they showed that massive no ball that he bowled.
"I also thought about Stuart Broad and Jonathan Trott. I thought about two exceptional days of cricket and two lads that were sitting there as proud as anything about what they'd achieved for England - that was one of the great partnerships I had ever seen at the home of cricket.
"How must those two be feeling this morning; they played brilliantly and now everyone will be saying 'were Pakistan trying, were they trying to get them out?' No-one knows, and that's the huge problem anything like this surfaces. It means there is huge doubt about everything that has gone on and that is so bad for the game of cricket."
Cleaning up the game
The International Cricket Council has stressed that no players have been arrested over the claims but Hussain said that if the allegations were eventually proved then cricket should take steps to ensure such issues never mar the game again.
"This is dangerous territory, but if they were to be proven a part of me says 'good'," he said. "Part of me says 'about time', because there have been allegations out there for a long time.
"We don't know if something is going on behind the scenes but if there was substantial proof then maybe it's about time. Let's get on with cleaning the game up because it did go out of the game for a while when Lord Condon got involved.
"We were all dragged in as young players and told 'whatever you do, don't get involved because once you are in you are in for life'.
"It might be just someone ringing you in your room saying 'what's the pitch like tomorrow' or 'what's your team' and you think 'what's the harm in that, I'll get involved'.
"Two months down the line you might get asked 'will you bowl a wide, will you bowl a no-ball, will you get out for less than 10' and then you are in for life."
Former England batsman Allan Lamb has said that any Pakistan player found guilty of match-fixing should be banned for life.
Hussain commented: "Part of me says you've got to make a statement and say they are banned for life. If you come down tough, maybe it says to everyone else 'don't get involved'.
"Bu the other part of me looks at a youngster like Mohammad Amir - and I don't know the circumstances, I don't know what's going on - and says you should give another person another chance.
"Let's see what happens, let's see if there is any proof. Let's give all of these guys the benefit of the doubt that they deserve and wait and hold our time before we start telling people what should and shouldn't be done."