Ban the guilty and get on with the game

Posted: Tuesday, August 31, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , , , , ,

Cricket has been spoiled by match fixing over the years and Saturday was one such day. A while after Day 3's play, police turned up at the team hotel for investigation. Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif have been accused of spot-fixing (getting paid to ball no-balls) and it is alleged that Salman Butt and Kamran Akmal are also involved. The cricketing fraternity is in shock and many former cricketers call for a life ban for those found guilty. Many cricketers have been accused of match fixing but I reckon there must have been other times too, when a player indulged in match fixing. Some are caught, some escape. Somehow Pakistanis are caught much more than others. They have been rather foolish to have a bag full of cash in their rooms after bowling no-balls intentionally. Amir rarely bowls a no-ball and this time he bowled an enormous no-ball. Rameez Raja and the former coach of Pakistan, Geoff Lawson are worried about Amir. They don't think he should be banned because he is an 18 year old from a village and oozing with talent. He is guilty. 18 year olds do have their mind. Pakistanis have been bringing embarrassment to their country and cricket. If they cannot be ethical, they must be punished so that their future generations don't think that they can get away with something like this. It's surprising how cricketers don't think of their team or country and indulge in something so unethical. Gibbs, Kapil Dev, Shane Warne, other Indian, South African and not to forget Pakistani cricketers have been proved guilty but most continued to play. Pakistan's Rashid Latif had written a letter to ICC warning them of spot-fixing going on. Enough action has not been taken on this issue in the past.

The staff of News Of The World, a British tabloid newspaper, published every Sunday, posed as front men for Far East gambling cartel and fooled Majhar Majeed, the man who bribed Amir and Asif. Majeed manages the contracts, sponsorships, marketing of the Pakistan cricket team. He revealed a lot of things about the Pakistani team including that the Pakistani cricketers wanted Butt as captain and they "wanted to lose anyway". Some other sources revealed that Shahid Afridi wanted the cricketers to stay away from Majeed and match fixing and most of the Pakistani cricketers were unhappy with this.

Strauss pointed out that the mood in the dressing room was not good after the news broke to England cricketers. Also, they now fear that this Test might be taken off record books. This was Pakistan's heaviest Test defeat, by an innings and 225 runs. Let me remind you that Stuart Broad and Jonathan Trott shared a record breaking 332 run partnership in this Test. Although there is no need to take this Test off the record books, I don't think England cricketers should worry about this at all. Even if it is taken off the books, it will stay in the minds of the cricketers and the fans. But taking this off the books would be unfair to the England team, who did their hard work. There have been many matches in which match fixing has taken place but they were not taken off the books. Notably, Pakistanis fixed the 1999 World Cup final against Australia. Should the cup be taken away from Aussies? And the Lord's Test was not fixed, Pakistanis did not indulge in match fixing but only spot-fixing this time.

On Sunday, the talk was less about England's win and much more about this controversy. Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Akhtar will make a comeback to the team as the Twenty20 and ODIs begin. Pakistan's cricketers are so controversial, you name one, you have lots of controversies in your mind. Hopefully, things will settle down when the 1st Twenty20 takes place on Sunday, September 5th at Cardiff.


  1. Craig says:

    To quote the phrase, 'throwing the baby out with the bath water' is relevant here. The tickets have been sold for ODI and T20 series and reading today's press, it seems like the cricket boards are keen to go ahead with the games. I agree with allowing them to go ahead and suspend the accused until the mess has been cleaned up. The only fear I have is that it may be very difficult to find out the truth and to what extent the spot fixing has grown. Reading reports about maiden overs, influencing run rates and that 2 of the ODI's were to be lost is scary! I hope that the ACSU fully investigates and the innocent are cleared and the guilty punished.