Cricket Betting : Bain of the subcontinent


When the Television across the globe broadcast the footage from Britain’s News of the World in which Mazhar Majeed, a 35-year-old British property developer and sports agent, give details of when three “no-balls” would be delivered by Amir and Asif during the Test match at Lord’s that ended yesterday, there was anger and outrage in Pakistan.  The bookie claims Pakistan Test Captain Salman Butt to be the ring leader.

This is not the first time that Pakistan cricket has been embroiled in such a controversy.

It was way back in 1979-1980 when Pakistan were accused of throwing matches on their tour of India. Pakistan players were also accused of throwing their semi-final against Australia in the 1987 World Cup. Those allegations remain unsubstantiated.

But charges naming individual players surfaced in 1994 when Australian players Mark Waugh, Shane Warne and Tim May alleged that Pakistan skipper Salim Malik had approached them to bowl badly and lose the Karachi Test.

Then in 1998, Wasim Akram resigned as Pakistan skipper after bowler Ata-ur-Rahman had accused him of offering the bowler Rs. 3 lakh to bowl waywardly against New Zealand. The same year Rashid Latif accused Akram, Malik, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Ijaz Ahmed of fixing matches.

Year 2000 became the World cricket’s year of shame, when the Delhi Police charged the late South African Captain Hansie Cronje of fixing his team’s ODI series against India. As if taking a leaf out of Delhi Police’s book, the Pakistan Cricket Board, instituted a one-man judicial commission that found Salim Malik and Ata-ur-Rahman guilty of fixing matches and recommended life bans for the two. The commission also noted that Akram and Mushtaq Ahmed should not be allowed to captain Pakistan in the future. The same year, South Africa Cricket Chief Ali Bacher said he had been told by former Pakistan Cricket Board CEO Majid Khan that two matches involving Pakistan in the 1999 World Cup, against India and Bangladesh, were fixed.

Then there was a period of five years when Pakistan cricket seemed to be getting back on track, but again in 2006, Pakistan cricket was hit by a controversy during the tour of England. Angered after being accused of ball-tampering and penalised five runs by umpire Darrell Hair, Pakistan forfeited the fourth Test against England at The Oval after refusing to take the field in the evening session on day four in protest.

But early 2010, again, the clouds of match-fixing began to hover again over the Pakistan team. In January after Pakistan lost every match during their tour of Australia, the PCB and ICC Anti Corruption Unit launched investigations. The PCB enquiry saw Mohammad Yousuf, Younus Khan, Shoaib Malik and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan banned while Shahid Afridi, Umar Akmal and Kamran Akmal, were fined and placed on probation.

In the scandal which came to light now the television footage showed Amir, who was named the Pakistani Man of the Series, bowl two of the no-balls by stepping comfortably beyond the crease, prompting pundits to comment on the unusually clear nature of the infringements. But other events predicted by Majeed, such as an over in which Butt would deliberately fail to score a run, failed to materialise. The Scotland Yard team is investigating the case took statements from Salman Butt, Mohammad Aamer, Mohammad Asif and Kamran Akmal.

The former International Cricket Council President Malcolm Speed said that the game’s governing body could seriously consider suspending Pakistan. All eyes are on the new ICC President and ‘Indian’ Sharad Pawar but the response of the Indian public is one of glee.

It was indeed funny to watch Indian TV commentators spoof at the Pakistani system, questioning them of letting off errant palyers like Akram,  Shahid Afridi, Umar Akmal, Kamran Akmal etc in the past, forgetting that our own Ajay Jedeja (who is a star commendator in one of the popular TV channels), Mohammed Azarudin, Vinod Kamble were also accused of the same crime in the past. None in the media spoke about Miandad making Dawood a ‘sambandi‘ then or even now. The rotten state of the gentleman’s game was for everyone to see then, but it looks like whole world, India as a cricketing country, Board of Control for Cricket in India and our star players, are in a state of denial.

The Pakistani players, some of them in their late teens and early twenties looked like amateurs in the betting arena. Indian players probably could give a lesson or two these armatures. Thanks to Lalit Modi, IPL and the likes, our players  have perfected the art and we in India play at a very different scale of match-fixing.

Video : Copyright News of the World & YouTube

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    • Peter Reynolds
    • August 31st, 2010

    Pakistan is a hotbed of corruption and wickedness. It should be banned from international cricket for five years. What a shame we can’t ban its drain on the world’s resources, attention and patience for five years.

    http://peterreynolds.wordpress.com/2010/08/30/pakistan-synonymous-with-corruption/

    • Sewx
    • September 1st, 2010

    Pakistan is a failed state and defunct in nature…just google it and u will get the list of top term failed state…pakis are 9th after somalia etc etc….. They are able to feed their ppl cuz they get funds from US, they will die of hunger if not BLOW each other UP!

    • Sharon Green
    • September 1st, 2010

    why does pakistan fix matches to lose against mighty australia? they are too bad to win against professional outfit like australia. but of course there would be truth in spot match fixing in england against pak players. what will come out in this shameful episode? nothing if you recollect past. probably pak board will life ban on few players and later forget everything & reinduct them. it would be total white wash. no body outside the continent, take pakistan seriously.

  1. I wouldn’t want to generalise but looks like there is a moral deficit in our society. For our media journalists sports reporting these days has become the coverage of curruption – IPL, CWG and now spot fixing. What a polite little inadequate phrase!!!!

    • Griffith Sharon
    • September 2nd, 2010

    In a nation pummeled by stifling poverty, homegrown militancy, and most recently, epic flooding, the game of cricket is supposed to serve as salve, a getaway from Pakistan’s daily diet of trauma and crisis. Now a new shame.

    • Chaudhry Ishtiaq Ahmed
    • September 25th, 2010

    In all this chaos that our country faces, there should be some source of romance. For Pakistan, that source of romance has always been cricket. Cricket was the one thing we could be proud of. And now that pride is gone.

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