Monday, August 30, 2010

When players are fixers

By John Cheeran
So what’s new? Match-fixing in cricket is old hat especially after Hansie Cronje was fixed by Delhi Police and all of us know cricketers, irrespective of nationalities and racial background, are willing to take the bait if you can up the stakes.
Yes, it’s a total disaster for Pakistan cricket and Pakistan the nation state. The News of The World expose has done more damage to Pakistan than the recent floods and possibly what an Indian nuclear attack could have done. It would take a long, long time for the credibility of Pakistani cricketers to be restored.
India, too, had dealt with the monster of match-fixing and who can tell how clean Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his band of men are? But, then, unless exposed and established otherwise we should believe in their integrity.
With video footage clearly showing some of the Pakistan players currently touring England accepting cash from a bookie, things are looking bleak for Salman Butt and guys.
Arguments that spot fixing is a bit of harmless fun and the result of the match is not influenced or determined by such transgressions will not hold much water since it’s question of integrity of the players involved. You can either be bought or cannot.
Will this recent spate of allegations drive fans away from cricket? Today, cricket is many things for many people. More than a sport, it’s a commercial circus and all those involved, television channels, sponsors, players, International Cricket Council, national cricket boards will do their level best to convince us that what’s being offered is genuine, unadulterated stuff.
And you watch at your own peril.
Long live cricket.

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