Thoughts On The Pakistani Spot Fixing Sentences

8 02 2011

First of all, let us start by saying that cricket is a game that we love. We love the fact it is a game more complex than most others; we love the simplicity of the contest between batsman and bowler – an individual contest in amongst a team game; we love all the cultural differences that come to the fore when fans from different nations come together in celebration and support of the game; and most of all, we love believing that the contests we are watching are genuine encounters with opposing teams doing their utmost to win.

With the scandal involving the three Pakistani cricketers, Amir, Asif and Butt, it is this last reason and covenant with the paying public that has been broken. For many, including us at the Compulsive Hooker, the subsequent lack of trust engendered by the actions of these players had caused a fairly deep rift between us and the game itself – something that even pulsating series in South Africa and Australia since then have not been entirely able to heal.

In some ways we are relieved that some of the wilder claims of Mazhar Majeed involving other players have not been found to have happened, yet, the suspicion still lurks that perhaps this is for a lack of evidence (or possibly even lack of will) as much as anything else. Unfortunately, and this is the crux of what we believe with regard to the sentences imposed on the three players, the deterrent to spot fix, match fix, call it what you will, is simply not there – even now and, as sure as eggs are eggs, it will happen again.

It is that most human of failings, greed, which of course lead to the situation cricket finds itself in today. Butt, Amir and Asif found the lure of the lucre too hard to resist and so they find themselves in trouble today. It is possible to sympathise with these players on some level – they are relatively poorly paid and can see their neighbours in India earning astronomical sums and this is surely something the Pakistani board have to address moving forward. After all, one of the reasons why you can believe in the Indian, Australian or English teams honesty is that, simply put, they have much more to lose than gain.

However, even despite these mitigating factors, we do believe that these players needed to be held up as an example to the rest of the cricketing world so that we do not get a rerun of this situation in five years time. The argument that it is ‘only a few no balls’ holds no water. It was a matter of principle that needed addressing but sadly has not been completely so. Five year sentences are simply not enough in our eyes and the prospect of Salman Butt, for example, playing test cricket again is not one that we will savour.





2 responses

8 02 2011
James Parrett

Good piece Brad.

8 02 2011


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