Is match fixing still a problem in Pakistan cricket team?

Posted on April 11, 2007. Filed under: Cricket |

 The question has recently been raised by a number of people. All of them from within Pakistan. All of them stakeholders in the health of our national passion. But who really knows. I for one, don’t know. But I think it is a very valid question, and I sure would like an answer.

Matchfixing in cricket is not a new problem, and Graham Stewart explored some history for TimesOnline. Neither is corruption in professional sports limited to Cricket. And it is not just us brownies who have tarnished the image of the gentleman’s game. Everone seems to have taken a tour of the crapper. DNA timelines some major headlines in this context.  

A number of Pakistan team members have struck back at the accusations, defending themselves on camera, and threatening legal action against the accusers. That much was to be expected. You wouldn’t think they’ll come out and say, yes we still do it. Still it is difficult to get away from the cloud of suspicion that follows the Pakistani cricketers.

We can’t hide from the fact that in the not too distant past, Pakistani cricketers have been found guilty of various instances of match fixing by a Pakistani court. The report of the Justice Qayuum inquest into match fixing by Pakistani cricketers named names. It is now well known that all major players in our teams of the last 15 years had been involved in match fixing. Salim Malik, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Ijaz Ahmed, Saeed Anwar, Mushtaq Ahmed, Inzamam-ul-Haq, and Akram Raza, Ata-ur-Rehman all were found guilty then and handed varyious bans and fines. Basit Ali, Moin Khan, Shahid Afridi, and Azhar Mehmood, all were cast in a suspicious light, but let off for lack of enough evidence against them.

Off all those who played for Pakistan in those years only a handfull, namely Rameez Raja, Aaqib Javed, Aamir Sohail, Rashid Latif have come out of the fiasco clean. Rashid Latif even resigned his captaincy protesting the corruption of fellow players. And most believe it was his pointing out the issue that earned him the ire of the PCB and the team and his premature axing from the squad. And he has recently aired his suspicions about match fixing still going on.

2000 was an eventful year for cricket with regards to match fixing. An inquiry in India followed the one in Pakistan. Cricketers from Australia, South Africa, India , Pakistan, West Indies, and Sri Lanka all turned out to have been involved to various degrees and many were punished. After all that, in a september 2000 article, Rafi Naseem sounded hopeful that the problem had been taken care of. Those deemed the worst offenders had been sidelined. Others had sought forgiveness and gone about restoring their tarnished images. There have been suggestions from those in the know that the present bearded state of Islamization of the Pakistani team occured after they started repenting their sins and sought peace of mind in religion.

The driving force behind corruption in sports is gambling. BBC showed it clearly exists illegaly in Pakistan even today. But in term of money in the market, The Lahori bookies are likely dwarfed by the rackets run by organized crime in Bombay and Dubai. Legal sports betting adds to the stakes.

So here is what we know: Sports betting and Gambling on cricket is still going on strong. Many cricketers who were involved in the rackets are still involved with the sport as team members and management. Bookies are still persuing cricketers. The last link in the chain is yet undiscovered. All it takes to complete the chain again is bookie-cricketer contact. And that requires an investigation.

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One Response to “Is match fixing still a problem in Pakistan cricket team?”

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Like Ghalib said

“chut ti nahi hai mu ko ye kafir lagi hui”

Maybe religion is a cover for them to divert any attention from the real issue. How can pious people like that get involved in such shameful acts?


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