Australian spin legend Shane Warne and former England coach Duncan Fletcher today joined the growing clamour for life bans on Pakistani cricketers Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamir if they are found guilty of 'spot-fxing'.
Pakistan's Test skipper Butt and pacers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad are facing a Scotland Yard investigation over their alleged involvement in a betting scam "exposed" by a British tabloid's sting operation.
Warne, who was himself fined for sharing information with a bookie in 1994, said if found guilty, the Pakistani players deserve nothing less then a life ban.
"If it is true and they have been found (guilty of) match-fixing and throwing games and spot betting with the no-balls and stuff, if that's the case they should be thrown out," Warne was quoted as saying in media reports here.
"It's as simple as that. I don't think there should be any other way to do it. If it's fixed by players, they should be banned for life. Anyone who's involved should be thrown out," he said.
The former leg-spinner was a commentator during this January's Australia-Pakistan Sydney Test which is suspected to have been fixed. Warne said he would not be surprised if it turns out that the match, in which Australia pulled off an unlikely 36-run win, was indeed rigged.
"They are only allegations at the moment so I suppose you have to say innocent until proven guilty," Warne said.
"But looking back at the (Sydney) Test match, if it was fixed, you could understand how it was fixed by the way they were captaining the side and their tactics. It would make sense -- if it was true," he added.