Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Sunday said that cricket has been brought to "disrepute" by the 'spot-fixing' scandal and the guilty should be handed harsh punishment as such incidents tend to also paint other players in bad light.
"It's sad. Investigations are going on. Something like this, match fixing or spot fixing, it brings disrepute to the game," Dhoni said when asked about the 'spot-fixing' scandal in England that rocked world cricket.
"It does not only restrict to the people who are doing it or the side they belong to. I think people start associating it with the whole fraternity which means all cricketers whichever team you are playing for, it doesn't really matter," he said.
"At times what happens, if there is a game which is a low scoring game then people are thinking it may be a fixed game. When you work so hard on a field then that's one thing you don't really want. You don't want somebody to comment that the match was fixed or whatever," he told NDTV.
Asked whether harsh punishments should be handed to the three Pakistani players if they are found guilty, Dhoni said, "I would agree with that definitely because as I said it doesn't restrict the opinion to you. So definitely harsh decisions need to be taken."
Dhoni said any player guilty of match fixing should be kept "as far away from cricket as possible" as their wrongdoings could put paid to the hard work done by other cricketers.
"You work so hard for it. Everyday you go to the gym or to a field, the net sessions. The travelling, the amount of pressure you have to go through and then after that you achieve something remarkable and people come up with those kind of words it can be really disheartening. So let's try to keep those four five should be kept as far away from cricket as possible," he said.