Fixed establishments – Match Fix 2.0

The match fixing controversy that has engulfed the Pakistani team indicates one thing – the widespread betting in matches would not have gone on without the blessings of the Pakistani cricket establishment. Surfing through the news channels I came across Boria Majumdar‘s comment on Times Now.

Match Fixers?
The Usual Suspects? L-R Mohammed Aamer, Mohammed Asif and captain Salman Butt (Photo Courtesy Indian Express)

The usually over enthusiastic Boria made a justified comment for once – Waqar Younis and Ijaz Ahmed, the main coach and the batting coach, would have to be plain dumb to not realise what was happening in their team. For my money’s worth (and I am not betting) there are more than the three suspects involved in this whole fiasco and someone very high in the cricket establishment had to have an idea of what was happening and would have quietly benefited from this. Going by the journalists’ comments across channels, the word out there for quite some time now is that quite a few matches involving Pakistan and the West Indies are fixed and more than one player and official is involved.

These whispered comments are now ringing almost true as Scotland Yard extends their investigation in London. As I type this, Mohammed Asif, Mohammed Aamer and skipper Salman Butt have been summoned for questioning at their embassy in London. The fallout of this affair is that there are going to be public scapegoats and one among the three is gonna fall real hard.

The sad part of this entire affair is that two of the best fast bowlers in international cricket are likely to go down. When Mohammed Asif burst on the international scene a few years back, he brought back memories of the golden days of Pakistani and world pace – Waqar, Wasim, Imran, Javed… the list goes on. Ditto Mohammed Aamer who was playing his first tour in England this summer. And to top it all, Mohammed Aamer was adjudged Man of the Series in the recently concluded test matches against England.

It’s sad to see cricket coming down to this and a lot of fingers point to the establishments in the sub-continent. India is no doubt the hub for thesre activities. However, after Match Fixing scandal 1.0 in 1999-2000, where Azhar, Jadeja, Ajay Sharma were the fall guys, the next generation of Indian cricketers were more the wiser. With our active media and journos always on the prowl for the next big story, our boys would be lynched if there was a whiff of any sort of scandal regarding match fixing around them. All this does not underline the fact that people involved in the game, no matter which team, know what’s happening.

Spot fixing – that’s the in thing in match fixing 2.0. The future cricket matches are going to be whodunnits with us, the audience, left to spot the crook. I don’t see any other way out of watching this long running soap opera.

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