Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Betting and batting: For a few more dollars

By John Cheeran
Some of our international cricketers have managed to confuse between batting and betting. So they end up betting when they must be batting for themselves and their team.
West Indies all-rounder Marlon Samuels seems to have problems in spelling out both betting and batting. The allegations surrounding Samuels, during the Nagpur one-day match between India and the West Indies, may have some shades of truth in it.
What can be done about match-fixing in cricket? Very few can resist the prospect of a few more dollars. And cricket is rich in possibilities for manipulation.
Despite stringent policing, the virus of fixing will come back at cricket in stronger forms.
Betting is a perfectly fine activity. In the history of American boxing, betting syndicates used to virtually own boxers and manipulate the outcome of bouts to suit them. Even today, doubts persist how Mohammad Ali managed to knock out Sonny Liston during their first bout. Many believe the betting syndicate forced Liston to throw his bout against the then rookie boxer Ali.
I believe the day will not be far away when cricket betting syndicates in India will start picking boys from the playing fields and plant such players as their moles in the Indian dressing room.
May be that calls for patience. And when they have easy pickings among our current crop of cricketers why fixers nurse and rear their dark horses?

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