Sunday, 29 August 2010

Anyone else concerned?

It's always sad when the subject of match fixing rears it's ugly head in any sport much less my beloved cricket. Once again it is Pakistan mentioned with four players including their captain suspected of wrong doings. I know I had my suspicions when they toured Australia with one very suspect result highlighting the issue but last night's happenings in Blighty are another thing entirely. Specifically the accusation is not results based however how England were able to recover from 7/102 to eventually make 446 and then for Pakistan to succumb all out 71 and 4/41 seems to make a mockery of that. At 7/102 the Poms were paying around $20 so you don't have to be a genius to realise the temptation was there.
We are living in a sad world when a spectacular recovery by England is viewed with skeptisism but the facts are there. Four players are accused, one man has been arrested and Pakistani cricket takes another one to the midrift. They are now a country that must play their home games in other nations and must endure scrutiny for every loss. How long can the ICC continue to sanction them?


  1. It's enough to make you cry isn't it. The odd thing about the allegations is that it's spot fixing and not match fixing which appears common in County cricket but I haven't heard of it in international matches.
    You raised the question at the time of 'that' test in Sydney, Nospmas. I hope you were wrong but I'm not sure you are. One big issue with this sort of incident is how it reflects on the woeful performances of Pakistan in general. The fear that continual collapses may be pre-meditated is perhaps justified. I can imagine that players may not feel that deliberately bowling a no-ball for money isn't a big deal. Is it?

  2. I feel so sorry that a test match I've enjoyed immensely and will always remember will now forever be tainted by the whiff of scandal. Friday's turnaround is something I'll never forget, but now I don't know what to think. It's simply gut-wrenching for an England fan to have such a heroic performance called into question. There are some things in life that should be sacred, and Test Match cricket is one of them.

    As for the idea of bowling no-balls not being a big deal, just imagine if it had emerged that Australia's bowlers had bowled three deliberate no-balls in the 2005 Edgbaston Ashes Test. Doesn't bear thinking about really.

  3. Rhetorical question in a way, Pencil. While I believe there is a continuum with many things; it doesn't mean the less severe is tolerable. As you point out it's easy to have an example where a 'minor' incident has major ramifications.
    Test cricket has had some great advertisement in England with the neutral tests and series against Pakistan; as well as the last test in the India vs Sri Lanka series. This incident undermines the beauty we've seen with balance coming back to the ball somewhat. Where do we go now? Is this so endemic that it wouldn't matter if the PCB banned all players involved for life? Is it to do with the amount Pak players get paid? Would it matter if they were millionaires from just playing cricket anyway? Perhaps the most influential factor here is greed and there is no way you can legislate or govern against that. To be honest I don't think this is a battle the ICC can win; only limit.

  4. The unknown factor is we have no way of knowing what other pressures might be placed on Pakistani cricketers to conform. Threats against family could be a powerful motivator and would make players even less likely to tell the truth.
    To throw a whole test it takes more than one player to comply and although it is not fair to doubt every batting collapse or dropped catch it does raise the question of what can be done. Since banning betting on Pakistan matches would not stop the billions of dollars in illegal betting it seems the answer is not a straight forward one.
    It makes me wonder what bookie would take money for Pakistan to lose a match.

  5. without wanting to be a drama queen, this situation is about as bad as it gets in my opinion.
    any level of cheating makes me furious, and i struggle with how a "quick-shot" cash injection to ones personal coffers can be ultimately more satisfying than a career (all be it a challenging prospect playing for Pakistan!) and representation of your country

    what a disgracefull act at a time when world support of Pakistan is needed; both due to the flood crisis, and the political situation in the country.

    where do we (world cricket) go from here with them?
    for all of this, it is still undoubtably desirable to have them in the game! but while no countrys board should be completly controlled by a governing body, somehow the ICC MUST put it to the PCB that a COMPLETE overhaul of every aspect of cricket needs to be implemented. structure of the board, accountability, mentoring, junior development and potential,remuneration etc, et al!!!!

    cricketers have the potential now to be "there abouts" within their nations top 40-50 and still earn on the world stage, but clearly greed will erode all but the strongest ethics.

    PCB! what are you going to do about it?

  6. Have any of the 4 accused even denied involvement? I don't think so - not a good sign!

  7. What the ICC have to face is the different culture in Pakistan and how easy it is to get at the cricketers. The illegal bookies have power beyond control and however unfortunate for the cricketers I think the situation has become untenable and the ICC must move to suspend the Pakistan cricket team from all sanctioned fixtures. The very integrity of the game is at risk. History is already clouded with dubious results which they can do nothing about. The future needs to be protected.

  8. i agree that the future needs protecting, but i just can't see how we can have a complete world comp without Pakistan.

    that is why i propose interim governance of Pakistani cricket: PCB suspended from control of ALL team affairs, development and fixtures.

    a program whereby they will be brought back into control only after the ICC restructures ALL procedures regarding Pakistan cricket, then for the PCB to regain control, all board members, selectors, players, officials, management, coaches etc- ie EVERYONE that is involved at an international level, down to and including first class teams- to be cleared and authorised by the ICC.
    a massive task, no doubt. but if the ICC wants Pakistan, and if Pakistan wants to be in a world competition- they must comply.
    end the nepatism.
    end the corruption.
    restructure for the future
    regain pride in their national side

    this has been stoph verismo... the answer is now clear!

  9. Stop 25.17

    The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.....

  10. Are you talking about Pakistan or Iraq, Stoph?