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    March 26, 2007

    Match-fixing in cricket: Separating the facts from the myths

    Now I have to make an admission first, given there is still no concrete evidence what so ever of match fixing having anything to do with the murder of Bob Woolmer, I find the constant speculation in this regard increasingly annoying.

    In fact I find the whole debate on match fixing annoying. It is not an aspect of our game I like to discuss. But given so many people have been voicing their opinions in this regard off late, and they really are, nothing but personal opinions, here I am blogging about it.

    You expect people like Rashid Latif and Sarafaraz Nawaz to be making the noise, as Moin Khan said in response, Sarafaraz probably thinks every match is fixed. So I’m not sure we should take him too seriously, but off late the list of people with doubts and suspicious has seen an increase.

    Michael Vaughan joined in by saying his gut feeling was that some corruption in the game still exists, Shehreyar Khan, the ex PCB chief, has now added that he thinks spot fixing (which involves, in case you didn’t know, fixing minor aspects of game, such as the number of extras bowled, as opposed to the entire result of a game it self) still happens and that it is something you can’t really prevent.

    In between, SA’s manager has come out and admitted one of their players was approached by bookies on the country’s tour to India two years ago (to which you really have to ask why he is making this public now, where was he two years ago?).

    And now people like Lord MacLaurin, the former chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board, during whose tenure the first through investigation into match fixing took place, have joined in the chorus.

    The ICC and the police in Jamaica investigating into Bob’s murder, have also, as a result stepped in and hinted they have expanded the scope of their investigations in this area. And of course, since it is their job to find the man(or men) responsible for Bob’s murder, they ought to thoroughly investigate all the suspicions anyone has raised, but you would really hope, that in such a sensitive time for the game, people would do more then just come up with their ‘opinions’ on whether or not corruption exists.

    Its not that I like to live in oblivion about the realities cricket is facing, but murder investigations aren’t solved based on what people’s opinions are. Next time Michael Vaughan is asked for his opinion on match fixing, I’d be much more pleased if he kept his mouth shut.

    We’re so not interested in knowing his mere ‘opinions’. If he has facts, if he knows anyone who is involved, any information at all that might actually be helpful, sure, go ahead, don’t just talk to The Sun about it, might as well call a live global press conference.

    But spare us of your opinions please Virgil, how about getting some runs for a change, you haven’t done that for a long, long time. Ditto for Shehreyar Khan, Sarfaraz Nawaz and Rashid Latif. I’ve already had enough of people trying to be the self-righteous upholders of the spirit of the game.

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    Thus spake Zainub Razvi @ 5:21 PM |
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    6 sledge(s):

    It's funny; don't people normally complain when cricketers don't express their opinions, and instead come out with bland cliches? Now, apparently, opinions are bad.

    By Blogger Geoff (26-Mar-2007, 10:02:00 PM)  

    geoff - I don't think Zainub's comment was against cricketers expressing their opinions per se. It was about choosing the right forum to do so. Vaughan's probably had umpteen number of opportunities to meet _someone_ in the ECB/ICC setup to talk about his gut feelings on match fixing still existing in cricket. If he's done so, good for him. If he's talking to the media after doing so, good for him (just do let us know you've conveyed your apprehensions to the right folks). If he's talking to the media without first talking to those in charge, then that's not good for him or the game. It's kind of similar with Gavaskar using his column to vent spleen on Australia's behaviour. He'd have had enough chances as the head of a cricket committee in the ICC to raise the issue internally. Either he didn't, or no-one has listened to him.

    By Blogger Jagadish (26-Mar-2007, 10:25:00 PM)  

    Well, Rashid Latif is complaining that no one listened to him when he did provide some information about the matter. As far as Michael Vaughan's comments go, can you imagine the conversation?

    MV: I have a gut feeling that there's still some match-fixing going on.
    ECB/ICC: OK.
    MV: I'd like you to investigate.
    ECB/ICC: Where should we start?
    MV: Well, I think we can rule out anyone I've ever played with. And I didn't suspect anyone I played against of doing it at the time.
    ECB/ICC: Hang on, didn't you play at Centurion?
    MV: Yes, but I didn't notice anything.
    ECB/ICC: Never mind. So you don't have any leads, any particular matches, players, or umpires about whom you have suspicions?
    MV: No.
    ECB/ICC: Thanks. We'll put our best men on it.

    By Blogger Geoff (26-Mar-2007, 10:41:00 PM)  

    geoff - So you're suggesting instead of approaching the ICC/ECB, Vaughan (or other players) should be speculating through the media? It's no-one's case that the ICC's ACU (or indeed the ICC) has done a superb job. But its the authority which deals with the issue.

    By Blogger Jagadish (27-Mar-2007, 11:27:00 AM)  

    I'm saying that his speculation, while a valid opinion, had absolutely nothing to back it up. He may well have mentioned it to the ICC. What can they do to investigate a 'gut feeling'?

    By Blogger Geoff (27-Mar-2007, 1:44:00 PM)  

    A new book was written about match fixing last year. The author presents evidence that some of the highest soccer matches in the world may have been fixed, but cricket fixing is also mentioned.

    By Blogger Marc (12-Jan-2010, 12:04:00 AM)  

    We'd prefer if you posted comments with your real name to add more credibility to your opinions. However, the moderators reserve the right to delete comments, especially those containing offensive or unsuitable language. The opinions in the comments are your own views. You are welcome to provide a URL to your own cricket blog, but the moderators reserve the right to delete comments which only reference sites for viewing live streams.

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