Sunday, 29 August 2010

Pakistani Spot Fixing Allegations

I assume you've all seen the story. If you haven't, find out. Quick. Here's the video and the News of the World investigation in full


I really hope it isn't true. I really hope that this is a tabloid trick designed with nothing more than selling newspapers in mind. I really hope that the allegations about Amir, Asif, Akmal, Butt (and more) are unfounded lies.

But they probably aren't.

This story is big. I mean mega-huge. If you can't think of how big it is, think of the biggest story in cricket. Double it. And you're part of the way there.

Yes, it's "only" spot fixing. It's "only" a couple of no-balls. But the fixer Mazhar Majeed spoke of how it has been going on for years and of how many players were "in his pocket". How do we know that the no-balls were only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the severity of fixing. What else was manipulated? From the outside looking in, England going from 102-7 to 430-7 seems unlikely; suspicious even. Pakistani fielding this series has been atrocious - but were they being told to drop catches? Lose wickets? Concede runs?

The whole fabric of cricket is under scrutiny. Is this solely a Pakistani thing? Is international cricket a sham? How must Jonathan Trott and Stuart Broad feel now - were they given an easy passage to scripted centuries? England certainly were long odds at 2.30 yesterday - a lot of money to be made out of a lucrative England innings victory.

Friday was my favourite day of test cricket. There was a brilliant contest between bat and ball throughout, before two fantastic innings in a superb partnership turned the game. For me, it's been tainted. England will wrap up the series later, but after tonight's revelations, it will seem a hollow victory. I guess the ramifications will continue well after the last piece of confetti touches down on the Lord's turf.


  1. I find it hard to believe that it could be a sole Pakistani thing, think a lot of the rest of the world is involved too.. we saw that in 2000 now, did we not?!

    good work here, just found you....

  2. Hi Ankit - welcome!

    Judging by Andrew Strauss's surprise about the whole issue it's clearly not affected him - hopefully this means it hasn't affected anyone but at the moment I don't know who or what to believe! I'm sure a lot more information will be coming out about it over the next few weeks...