Strauss, the England captain, urged players to “do what is right for cricket” and utilise the three-monthamnesty recently imposed by the ECB after the conviction of the former Essex seam bowler Mervyn Westfield on corruption charges.
Strauss warned against assuming the case was the only one of its kind after the the former Essex seam bowler Mervyn Westfield pleaded guilty to corruption charges.
“It took me completely by surprise when the allegations first came out and I’ve certainly not witnessed anything in my time,” Strauss said. “But let’s not be arrogant and just assume it’s not there because clearly there has been an incident and if there has been one incident then there is a fair chance that there have been others.”
Strauss was speaking ahead of the start of England’s Test series against Pakistan. Past series between these teams have been littered with controversy and players on both sides have been talking of moving on from previous animosity, with Misbah-ul-Haq, Pakistan’s captain, appealing to England to forget the spot-fixing scandal of their last tour.
“The ECB have provided an amnesty for players to come forward in the next three months and I’d urge them to do that if they do have any information. If it is there, we need to root it out. We need to get it dealt with and move on. If you want world cricket to be in good order then you have to make sure your own house is clean first.”
“I think there is a lot more awareness now on the back of what has happened in the last couple of years. But it’s something we have to always be vigilant about,” Strauss said. “Obviously we have heavy schedules internationally and domestically and, with heavy schedules, there is always the opportunity for people to think that one game is less important than another and that therefore they might be able to benefit from it.
“I’ve no idea if other players have information or not, but I urge them to come forward if they do. If there is a problem there we need to see the extent of the problem and take steps to clean it up. This is not the time to show loyalty to teammates or friends or people you know. This is the time to do what is right for the game of cricket.
Meanwhile Tony Palladino, the former teammate who blew the whistle on Westfield, has also warned against assuming that the incident was a one-off. “You’d be a fool to think spot-betting wasn’t happening at Essex before, and at other counties,” Palladino told the Sun. “It must have been. They’ve chosen county cricket because it’s not as high profile as international cricket.
“What worries me is there might be other cases that have been swept under the carpet. I’ve spoken to international players who’ve been approached several times in Asia. It’s rife out there.
“The guys most at risk are in Merv’s situation — young, in the first team, but not earning much money. Merv could have gone on to play for England but he made a bad decision and for £6,000 he’s lost his career. It’s such a waste.”