Warne wants life bans for cheats

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The Independent Online

Former Australia spinner Shane Warne has backed calls for life bans for anyone found guilty of corrupting the outcome of cricket matches.

Pakistan captain Salman Butt and fast bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer are currently under investigation over allegations the pacemen deliberately delivered no-balls as part of a betting scam in the fourth Test against England at Lord's.

The claim was just one revelation to come out of a News of the World sting which also carried quotes from player agent Mazhar Majeed that the Sydney Test earlier this year was fixed, saying Australia's miraculous win netted one betting syndicate £830,000.

Warne, who took 708 test wickets for Australia, believes the International Cricket Council must take a zero tolerance stance on the issue.

"They should be thrown out, simple as that," Warne said.

"I don't think there is any other way to do it, if they have been involved in throwing games.

"They should be banned for life ... anybody who is involved should be thrown out."

Inconsistent form has long been a staple of Pakistani cricket, but Warne said he could understand how that could be a cover for something more sinister.

"Pakistan are such a hot and cold team," Warne said.

"One minute they are on song and the next they're not and we were watching going 'This can't be happening, what are they doing?'

"We thought there must have been some method in their madness but to think back now, if it's true what they are saying... if it was fixed, you could understand. It would make sense."