The Match Fixing Monster

29 08 2010

What a storm the cricketing world has woken up to.

Match fixing is once again in the spot light and more worryingly for everyone, it is the current Lords test that is under suspicion. Several players including Mohammed Amir, Mohamed Asif, the captain Salman Butt and the wicket keeper Kamran Akmal have all been named as under investigation with a further three unnamed players implicated.

For a number of articles detailing in full the allegations as they stand please click here.

Since the original scandals involving Hansie Cronje and several others match fixing appeared to have gone away, although, as many informed commentators of the game have alleged over the past decade, it appears to have been hidden away under the surface  of the game rather than having been eradicated altogether. In all honesty when you consider human nature it is hardly surprising that something like this should have happened again. There is so much money floating around the game right now, particularly with the advent of the IPL and 20/20 as a whole, that there are bound to be one or two unscrupulous players willing to take money from fraudulent bookmakers.

The public face, if you will, of match fixing was always bookmakers attempting to influence the outcome of games in some way. Spot fixing, whilst it has been around just as long, is now at the forefront of everyone’s thoughts. With its emphasis on the small and seemingly inconsequential aspects of the game, spot fixing is difficult to detect which is the reason why perhaps (if these allegations are found to be true) these Pakistani players felt that they could get away with it.

English cricket supporters are on the whole blissfully naive to these things – yes we are aware that these things probably go on – but not at Lords, not involving England. Living in Dubai we have had hundreds of conversations with friends, acquaintances and taxi drivers from all three test playing nations of the sub continent. By contrast, and almost without fail, at some point of the conversation they will make a comment along the lines of ‘well it was all fixed anyway’ or ‘I’ve lost my love for the game because the players don’t decide the outcome anymore’. Obviously this is hardly a scientific study, yet there does seem to be a general skepticism with regard to cricket from supporters of these teams which in itself very sad.

Whatever the ins and outs of this particular case and whether or not these players are found to be guilty we cannot help but feel, in no particular order, gutted, upset, angry and above all disappointed. Cricket is after all a game that we love more dearly than any other sport in the world. With its intricacies, its ability to build unparalleled levels of tension and the sheer beauty of it it is truly a wonderful sport. With these allegations, as it was 10 years ago, the game has been sullied irrevocably. The problem is now that every time someone bowls an enormous no ball, every time a batsman comes inexplicably down the track to play a ridiculous or unnecessary shot or a fielder drops a sitter of a catch – we will have a small question at the back of our mind – was there a reason behind that?

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4 responses

29 08 2010
Jonathan

It’s easy to rush to judgement, but as of yet all the facts are not in.

No matter what, it is a shame and it is a shameful smear on the greatest sport in the world.

I like you Bradders live in Dubai, and love talking to the cabbies about cricket; their love and passion for the team is undeniable, but this will upset them a great deal, cricket is such a personal thing for the Pak followers.

It is a sad day.

29 08 2010
Valerio

Anyone who closely followed the 2nd Test match between Aus and Pak in Sydney earlier this year will not be surprised to find evidence of match-fixing in cricket. I am sure you have heard the rumours, but to put it plainly, the performance of Kamran Akmal was so poor that it was simply beyond comprehension. It was impossible to explain away.

29 08 2010
Jonathan

The irony from today is that Mohammad Aamar, one of the alleged no ballers probably made more money from picking up the Man of the Series cheque than he may have made from helping these guys in the betting syndicate!

30 08 2010
Bradders

It remains to be seen whats proved etc but I feel sorry for Amir to a degree as if you’re 18 and senior players plus the captain are involved – what chance do you have!

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