Cricket could be on a 'slippery slope' if the spot-fixing allegations against three Pakistan players are not treated with the utmost seriousness according to Jonathan Trott.
Trott has spoken out after Pakistan Test captain Salman Butt plus bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir were charged under the International Cricket Council's anti-corruption code.
The trio have been provisionally suspended following reports in the News of the World that they were involved in a spot-fixing scam to defraud illegal bookmakers by deliberately bowling no-balls in the fourth Test against England at Lord's last weekend.
All three players, who have been interviewed as part of a separate police inquiry into the matter, have denied any wrongdoing.
Trott, whose 184 was key to England winning the Lord's Test and wrapping up a 3-1 series win, called for a thorough investigation during an interview with The Sun.
"Even now, a week later, I find it all so hard to digest, let alone understand," he said.
"I guess some people might be tempted to shrug and say, 'Oh but it's only a few no-balls, what does it matter?' But it matters a great deal.
"This is the slippery slope and we don't want to go there. The reputation of cricket is at stake and there must be a thorough investigation into these allegations."
South Africa-born batsman Trott also insisted that he would never become involved in any form of manipulation of the sport, pointing to one of his heroes, the late South Africa captain Hansie Cronje, as a stark reminder of the damage it can cause.
"He ended up a broken man," Trott added. "And I remember asking myself how people got involved in that type of thing,"
"I just know it is totally against everything I believe in and have worked for - I love cricket and I have sacrificed a lot to make it to this level and I'm determined to stay there.
"And I am too competitive, too much of a winner to ever be tempted to take any liberties."