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Murali for life-ban for match fixers

Singapore, October 13, 2012, Reuters: 22:22 IST

Anyone involved in spot-fixing should be banned for life, former Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan said on Saturday, days after six umpires were provisionally suspended for allegedly agreeing to fix matches.

Hindi channel India TV showed footage on Monday of officials from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka negotiating deals with under-cover reporters to affect the outcome of matches.

Pakistan's Nadeem Ghauri and Anees Siddiqui, Nadir Shah of Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka's Gamini Dissanayake, Maurice Winston and Sagara Gallage were all seen agreeing to give favourable decisions in exchange for umpiring contracts and money.

Shah and Ghauri have denied the charges. The International Cricket Council imposed the suspension on Wednesday ahead of investigations and Muralitharan, the leading wicket-taker both in Test and one-day internationals, said anyone found guilty deserved the severest punishment. "Definitely, people that do these things should be punished for life. They, at any level, should not be tolerated," the 40-year-old told Reuters in an interview in Singapore on Saturday.

"I think the ICC are doing the right thing...if they are found guilty, they will definitely be punished... There are always bad eggs in everything," the off-spinner said.

"In society there are good people and bad people and it has always been like that, but fortunately they get caught so that means cricket is getting cleaner and cleaner.

"I think ICC are doing a lot of education (programmes for players). Cricket boards, match referees, management (are also) educating, so there is enough education."

While Muralitharan has retired from international cricket, he continues to ply his trade in the lucrative world of Twenty20.

The Kandy-born is contracted to play one more season with the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

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