Thursday, 14 October 2010

Laugh or Cry?

Courtesy of SEN

"The International Cricket Council have cleared all Pakistan players of alleged corruption relating to a one-day match against England last month.

The third one-day international at The Oval on September 17 was embroiled in controversy, after it was alleged irregular Pakistan scoring patterns were the basis for spot-fixing claims.

The ICC's anti-corruption security unit (ACSU) looked at the evidence at a two-day meeting at their headquarters in Dubai, but found there were no suspicious circumstances.

The ICC released a statement on Wednesday, clearing all players and officials of any wrongdoing but not ruling out further investigations.

"Following extensive investigations into allegations about the one-day international between England and Pakistan at The Oval in London, the ACSU has verified all the available information and concluded that there was no compelling evidence to suspect individual players or support staff," the statement read.

"The investigation is now complete but if new and corroborating evidence comes to light then clearly the ACSU will re-open the matter."

The separate investigation into spot-fixing claims levelled at Pakistan's Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir from the Lord's Test in August is ongoing, however the ICC revealed they are appealing their suspensions.

"In accordance with the provisions of the code, all three have appealed that provisional suspension and an independent hearing will take place in Doha, Qatar, on October 30-31 and will be chaired by the head of the ICC Code of Conduct Commission, Michael Beloff, QC," the ICC statement read."


Is this good news, or REALLY bad? Is there a way to prove players deliberately alter the course of a game? Batsmen will always play bad shots and get out. Bowlers will always overstep the mark. Fielders will continue to drop sodas. Batting collapses happen.
No one can control illegal betting which is where the incentive lies. I don't think anyone is suggesting a whole team could be pliable enough to control the course of a match and therefore legal betting is manageable.
The conundrum here is once we accept that match fixing exists, we then begin to analyse every detail of every game. The sensational becomes suspicious. What do we make of a hat trick? A victory from the depths of defeat?
Maybe the ICC recognise the importance of protecting the greater cricketing audience from doubting everything which makes this game so great.
Strange things happen in cricket, it's why we love it. Do we really want "strange" to be replaced by "suspicious"?


  1. great take on it Nos.
    "The sensational becomes suspicious" i certainly don't want that.

    if the ICC were serious, and really researched this incident (which i'm sure they did knowing it was in their best interest), then i'm happy with the finding.

    i doubt we can ever remove all doubt, but i'm happy to watch and be in the moment without analysing every ball to wonder whether it was legit.

    as for another example of that which looks suss, but is just bad judgment, how many times have we seen a batsman leave a ball and get bowled? ...shit DOES happen.

  2. I never want to think this great game could be jeopardised by the ugly dollar but as the IPL and similar competitions expose younger and more impressionable cricketers to large sums of money the old school pride of the cap is replaced by the luxurious lifestyle. This lifestyle must be maintained and there the seedy underbelly of the gambling world have their lure.
    Human nature of having what is forbidden or seemingly unnatainable rears it's ugly head and all of a sudden we have twelve inch no balls alledgedly on tap.
    The investigation I have no doubt was thorough but in the end it comes down to the word of the players versus the vindictively portrayed media and slimey bookies.

  3. i don't know if i fully agree with you on the above mate.

    i love the tradition of the game but to ensure continued greater interest it does need to stay relevant to audiences and viable for players,; money creates this and the IPL is a vehicle for many more players to make a career, and get exposure in the hope of greater national representation

    no doubt money is the root of evil, but it is still a necassary evil. and i think to a degree it (IPL) allows more players to make more money and potentially negates the need to try dubious means to fill their coffers while they have the chance.

  4. I hate to this say this Stoph because I have the utmost respect for your cricketing viewpoint but I hesitate to mention "tradition" and "IPL" in the same sentence. For me it's a different sport which involve the same physical talents but are poles apart where the lifeblood of this great game is found. I speak of concentration where your actions may be felt days later. When a dropped catch means more than a wait of an over or two when an over exuberant batsmen will no doubt sky another in someone's direction. IPL for me is a surprise ending in a movie bereft of the storyline. In the end what does the result mean? It's a two hour slogfest on a pitch specifically designed to generate runs which is only half of our great game. It's day five action on a day one pitch.
    I truly agree that the fifty over format has become redundant but is shortening the game even more the answer?
    Who on this site is willing to see the demise of the game we love, and I am referring to the ONLY format in order to maintain attendance and television audiences?
    IPL and similar competitions create audiences for a game that is unrecognisable to the game it is supposedly saving. I don't watch it.

  5. i wouldn't lump tradition and IPL together either, but i think t20 (whatever comp- i prefere the idea of the Champions legue type comp) holds the key to greater cricket growth, money and a flow on as players realise that the test is the Test.
    as an avenue of early earnings/recognition/exposure, short form allows players to get these things, and then maybe top up their super at the other end of their career.

    mac d's isn't realy food in my opinion, but it makes you fat and bloated and millions around the world seam to think it is substantial- same goes for t20.
    and why i don't eat one or watch the other; apart from taking my boy to see the b/rangers smash it around in the big bash on a balmey night.