Bangalore:Sharad Pawar, the ICC president, has vowed to clean the game of corruption and also reiterated the governing body's commitment to sustaining Test cricket.
Pawar was speaking at the ICC Awards in Bangalore, at a time when the game is still mired in the spot-fixing scandal which broke in late August during Pakistan's tour of England. Three leading Pakistan cricketers - captain Salman Butt, and fast bowlers Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif - were provisionally suspended by the ICC and will have their appeals heard at the end of this month in Qatar.
"Cricket is going through a difficult time, but we will sort it out," Pawar said, warning that anyone found guilty of corruption would not be spared. "Whoever it is, however towering a figure in world cricket, we will not compromise."
Pawar also addressed fears regarding the priority of Test cricket in the face of increased popularity of the Twenty20 format. Three West Indian cricketers who are sought-after Twenty20 players - captain Chris Gayle and allrounders Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard - turned down central contracts and New Zealand Cricket carved out a window in its calendar to accommodate the lucrative IPL.
"We will never let Test cricket die," Pawar said, a day after a VVS Laxman led India to a heart-stopping one-wicket victory over Australia in Mohali. "We will consult senior members of the cricket world, and come up with suggestions."
One suggestion the ICC came up with was to have a Test league running over four years ,with the top four teams taking part in a play-off event to determine the champions. There have also been proposals to stage day-night Tests to draw larger crowds, but the concept has been held up because of problems with the colour and type of ball to be used.
Virender Sehwag, the Test Player of the Year, also stated his preference for the five-day format over the limited-overs versions of the game at the awards ceremony.