England cricket captain Andrew Strauss says he would be "relieved" once the ongoing series against Pakistan is over and done with as the allegations of spot-fixing were "casting a shadow" on his team's performance.
"(We) will be quite relieved when this series is over and done with, no doubt about it," Strauss was quoted as saying by 'The Guardian'. The scandal-hit Pakistan cricket team shares the sentiment with coach Waqar Younis saying that "it has been a real long tour and his team are looking forward to going home".
The England captain's comments came after the ICC launched an investigation into the third England-Pakistan ODI at the Oval which the visitors won by 23 runs.
The probe was launched after a tabloid handed evidence to the ICC that there was spot-fixing during the match. "If this is not dealt with strictly now, it never will be. This has brought it very firmly to everyone's attention that this is an issue," Strauss said.
"We have still got to find out whether there is guilt or not, but the ICC have got a responsibility to the game of cricket to make sure that when there are 22 players turning out to play a game of cricket, everyone is striving equally hard to win.
"We need to get into a situation where we are 100 per cent sure every team that is playing international cricket is clean. How we go about that? Well that's the sixty million dollar question," he added.
Strauss said it would be tough to completely get rid of the corrupting influences on the game but the ICC needs to take command immediately.
"It is going to be hard to root out if there are people doing it. It's going to be a long-winded and painful affair if people are going to take it seriously." Strauss said he hopes no more allegations surface.
"The last thing I'd want to happen is for it to be swept under the carpet and for people to think, 'OK we've got through this, let the game continue,' because we will have to deal with it again at some stage and each time these things come out it just chips away at the greater game of cricket," he said.
"The last thing the game needs right now is to be dragged through the mill even further. It would astonish me if something like this was going on given the circumstances in which this one-day series is being played but if it is, then that's a pretty strong indictment of how prevalent this type of thing is in the game," he added.
Asked about the relations between the two sides in the wake of the corruption allegations, Strauss said, "For us it has been more about not interacting too much with the Pakistan team and just concentrating on what we need to concentrate on."