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"?

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Tests within a Test

interesting "series" this.
close game in the first: if Bollinger had bowled on the last day...
if Punter knew how to captain a spinner....
if Laxman...

and now for the 2nd test we see a grinding affair which may not be great for a result, but which has as discussed elsewhere given North another 6 months...
shown the need for batsman to 'settle' and wait for the bad ball...
and just how great S. Tendulkar STILL is...

we have NEVER had his number (49 test tons- 10 against aus), and while only idiot speak in absolutes, we never will and he shall retire knowing HE could always beat Australia. He almost makes me glad we have timed tests, otherwise...

on Ponting and Hauritz; regardless of the lack of support from a captain, a spinner MUST still bowl on the spot -even saying to and showing his captain where he'll put it- to force the captain to see the need for a bowlers selected field. Hauritz has failed to do this in this 2nd test, and will be publicly pilloried for failing to get a bagfull on the sub-continent. Spin great B. Bedi offered great support of Haury over the weekend and made a similar point about Punters inability to work with and use a bowler like Haury... but any way you look at it 0-153 will have you horse whipped by all and sundry.

with 2 days to go- unless this track opens up wider than Boonies smile at the the thought of 'shifting tin'- this game looks to be little more now than a test of: concentration or attrition... unless someone decides to get a bit excited; Big Kev, where are you?