Tuesday, 11 October 2011

The BIG Fix

So Australians were the biggest match fixers! Well, according to Mazhar Majeed the agent and former journalist in the hot seat of the bribery proceedings in a London court.

Well, it wouldn't be the first time Australian players have blotted their coffee book associating with dodgy sub-continental bookies, so if these allegations prove true, when will our blokes learn?

Of course coming from a Pakistani agent it sounds a little suss to start with... not implausible, just dubious for mine. Certainly affecting a game in "brackets" is less glaringly obvious than by other means; any batsman could declare they were "taking their time to get their eye in." And any bowler could claim, "I was bowling to a plan to draw a batsman into a false shot." So as long as no wager has been placed it all sounds a bit hollow; but if one has...

I would hope (call me naive), that in this age where the upper echelon of players CAN make a substantial living and so donn't need to 'chase the big bucks' fixing a game to earn a bit on the side with a bet. It has been touted that Pakistan players are more susceptible to this blight due to lower earnings and this is obviously an issue for the PCB, not me to sort out. More so because i don't see a lot of companies queuing up to get Pakistani cricketers endorsing their products- so there is no coin there for the players!

If this has happened, it is imperative that CA show they have ZERO tolerance and rip up players contracts and suspend them from every level of the game for LIFE!

With all and sundry speaking up about this in the media this morning- AB flatly denying its possibility, proof is now required from Majeed if he is to stand by his statement.

And THAT is what i think!


  1. For me "bracket" fixing is the least likely to succeed that any other unless the whole team is involved which I find VERY unlikely, almost impossible.
    There are too many variables. Who bats first, batting order, fall of wickets and the same goes for bowling. How do you confidently wager that the run rate will be 5.00 an over from 15-20 when you don't know who will be batting, or bowling?

    I like to think, however naive it may be that players work too hard to earn a spot in the team to concentrate on anything but keeping their spot.

    Surely money is not a lure for Australians?

  2. It's almost like any commenting on the issue of Australian cheating validates this idiot's claims. When you're cornered lash out at anyone to deflect blame and confuse the issue. Every cricket board as well as the ICC should be keeping a finger on the pulse with the problem of corruption being widespread. It would be naive to say 'well not here, this is Australia!' But it would be downright stupid to say 'Australia is the biggest bunch of cheaters of all'.
    It seems to me that corruption does not need to involve an entire team; Hansie had some helpers but not the whole of his team behind him. More likely it is bad apples that don't spoil the bunch and so while this makes it difficult to get rid of said apples; monitoring all player behaviour and focussing more energy on suspicious behaviour may be the answer. Does this mean some who wouldn't dream of cheating be asked questions at times? Absolutely; in the same way that drug tests are performed, repeatedly, on a wide range of athletes who never come back with a negative test result. This is part of the process of trying to keep sport 'clean'. Sacrifice is required to earn the big bucks and play at the eite level.

  3. With the contracts that the Australian boys have, standard of living and relative stability of cricket in Australia it would seem doubtful to say the least that any of the players have been "got at".
    If there were any bad apples in the team they would most likely be either a fringe player and less able to affect a game, or someone with gambling debts and therefore vulnerable.
    Since CA have said that they will wait for the court transcripts and if needed follow through with the ICC I think that this story will die a natural death until any credible information arises.

  4. Claims by player agent Mazhar Majeed, made in a recording played at the Southwark Crown Court in London overnight, that Australian cricketers are the "biggest cheats of all", seem to defy the bulk of evidence. They also have the smell of an old classroom trick: when caught with dirty hands you point out to the teacher the sins of the kid with the cleanest.

    With Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif already banned by the ICC and therefore their guilt already confirmed, in this case they face not only time away from the game but time away from society. Therefore, just like Salim Malik before them, accusations made against the Australians, who have long championed the tracking down of cheats, has some appeal if only in trying to distract the media. In Malik's case, he not only tried to recruit Australians in tampering with Test results but he made open claims against Shane Warne and Mark Waugh. Both received slaps on the wrist which was poor administration of justice and not the only smear on Australian cricket that was self-inflicted. Most of them involved reactions to Warne's penchant for self-promoted trouble. Of course, the crime the Bumbles were guilty of was stupidity rather than duplicity.

    Mazhar Majeed claims the Australians sell more brackets per game than any other international team. A bracket is a ten over sequence in a game where bets are made on runs scored, no balls bowls and any number of other things.

    The claims are outrageous and the media could do well to remember that accusation is a long way from conviction and the accusers here have already been convicted.

    Where many activities of Pakistani cricketers in matches have appeared suspect, no one single moment has been mentioned or even noticed by keen observers such as thecricketragics. The Sydney Test in January 2010 is often talked about in connection with unbelievable outcomes from disconnected sequences. Kamran Akmal, currently dropped from the Pakistan squad, gave a clearly questionable performance and the then captain Butt is a respondent in the current London trial, so enough said.

    Australia's performances haven't been out of character in the past eighteen months, just out of quality. To cheat, you have to be in control of games. Recently, we haven't been good enough to cheat.

    Recently, a committee of highly credible ex captains led by arguably Australia most direct and capable businessman, handed down a report to repair Australian Cricket. The only fixing involved was make Australian performances better. Steve Waugh has called on international cricketers to be photographed. Mark Taylor has a proved record against corruption in the game, being particularly outspoken in his media role. Alan Border is too cranky and direct to be bent. If dirt was under the fingernails of our players, it would have been reported by the Argonauts.

    Perhaps, instead of reacting with disgust at these claims as many former players will rightly do, maybe disdain would be a more appropriate response. Shake the head and walk away. The Southwark Court will sit justice in laps of those who best deserve it. <
    The more important task should be protect young players in Pakistan who are prayed upon by the older, cynical members of their team whose creed is greed and would rather sell their ability rather than prove it. A lot of money offered by a hero to a twenty year old is irresistible on many levels, especially in a cricket culture such as Pakistan's which has been so corrupt for so long and from top to bottom.

  5. 1981, Headingley, D.K Bacchus, 500-1, S.K, Jnr, ... i'm just saying! People like to think we have it within our capability - 2 flies up a wall...

    that being said, this list is bereft of Aussies:


  6. interesting that no one has touched on the inability of Pakistani cricketers to feel they can make a living from the game alone.

    certainly i believe this to be -as stated- a blame deflection, nothing more. but why are they (Pakistani players) seemingly the most suceptable? How can the rise above the poverty and play for national pride and love of the game at the same time?

  7. Kamran Akmal MUST be considered the most suspicious player recently in the squad- i can not accept that an international player could be so poor at a fundamental skill of their trade.

    post script: I truly hope the M. Amir is able to come out from the other side of his suspension and still be a star within the game. It would be such a shame not to have him perform at an international level when he is clearly such a talent.

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  9. I agree Stoph. I saw the wicket keeping performance of Akmal and he shook those catches from his gloves. The flinch cam at the wrong time. Usually a keeper will flinch if the ball doesn't middle. A subconscious reaction to correct it.
    Those catches were middled and flinched out.

    Just on M. Waugh and Warne, I think there was definitely more to the tale than anyone would tell. You don't get paid that much for weather and pitch conditions and you don't make friends like that offering the same.

    I don't think they were throwing matches but I do think they were offering slightly more than reported.

    Having said that I truly believe the test of Australia's mettle was during our period of dominance and rather than making things interesting for any potential profiteering we just smashed sides into the turf.

    I have no doubt match fixing exists I just believe the obsession Australian cricketers must exhibit just to get a baggy takes it out of the equation.

    Corruption in other nations starts from up high and perhaps the pressure to obey comes from there. Follow the money, the REAL money and you shall find the bank.

  10. Stoph I think the fragility of the PCB and Pakistan cricket have roles to play along with the relatively poor salaries compared to other nations. You don't see any Pakistan players in the IPL or Champions League. Their salaries are complicated in that it's not from one central place; according to Ramiz Raja.
    While the West Indian players can seem a little unappreciative (and the WICB a little bullish) I don't think anyone outside of Pakistan would trade places with their players. Everything is a mess. I could imagine a player thinking; 'who knows how many games I'll play, I'm going to secure my family's future while I can'. There may not be many opportunities to promote a product, commentate or any other financially rewarding opportunity that comes from playing cricket (if you're poor to begin with). The likes of Imran were loaded before they played so what he's done is really enhanced by his cricketing; not because of it.
    None of this is meant to excuse behaviour but it may go some way to explaining it. Simply saying 'you should just be proud to represent your country' doesn't wash when you don't get the luxuries others do.
    In countries like India and Pakistan the divide between the rich and the poor appears so immensely wide. Of course it is these places that bookmakers operate. Perhaps if Australia, New Zealand, England etc had similar socio-economic issues we'd be in similar positions.

  11. In one generation of cricketers in Pakistan we have gone from the Lion of Lahore to the Liars and Whores ... the greatest of their crimes isn't cheating the cricketing public of the uncertainties of a fairly contested result, its corrupting young men with talent and stars in their eyes.

    These are dirty old raincoated men, wandering in the park offering lollies to the brightest of our cricketing children.

    The Hansie Solution is too good for any of them.

    Any discussion of a possible Australian involvement would be the equivalent of writing new fiscal, environmental and social welfare policy for the Australian Government based on a night of noting ideas at the local pub. Even on my worst and most paranoid days I couldn't have conjured a conspiracy which would include Australia players.

    Someone should warn Mazhar Majeed of the danger of pissing into the wind.

  12. "Someone should warn Mazhar Majeed of the danger of pissing into the wind." Brilliant Lango.

    Yeah, i doubt there is a mentality within the Aus squad Nos to think of anything other than winning, my examples were mearly to highlight that there is a punting culture within Australian sport that others would draw upon when considering allegatioins of Australian cheating. Jnr and Warne's case is still very suss for mine- not that i think they were out to change the outcome of the game. D.K and Marsh's bet looks the worst given the outcome- did
    Beefy get a cut?
    I too don't want to be making excuses for their behaviour Lefty, but i acknowledge their situation and wonder if the ICC have any thoughts as to how they can make a playing career any more attractive to future Pakistani blokes.

    Also, i think you are spot on Lango in that the corruption of the next generation is a far greater sin; when the game is elevated above the profiteering, but the players have security and a future, the general public will enjoy sport at its finest.

  13. Personally I doubt there is much to worry about in Aus cricket in this regard. On 5AA yesterday they had James Young on and he said CA has had a fulltime former Vic Police guy whose sole role is to do with corruption and someone from this branch has been at every single international fixture featuring Aus watching every single ball. I guess one could argue that someone was watching the no-balls the Asif and Amir bowled too and it was NOTW that revealed something might be dodgy about them!

  14. At no point can we make concessions to any player that wanders to the dark side. For me the "luxury" is the gift they were given in the talent to make it at the highest level.
    Destroying the integrity of the game they supposedly love for money sickens me. At the time Warne and Waugh were caught I truly believed they should have been banned, for a long time. Send the message, deal with bookies for any reason and you are gone.