Monday, August 30, 2010

Pakistan's foray overstepping the line of control - on Cricket field also

I had written in detail about the intentional over stepping by Suraj Randiv with the soul purpose of denying a ton to Virender Sehwag. Now there are more deliberate overstepping. By the startling revelation (such scandalous revelations  are not totally new to cricket), News of the World has brought the roof falling. They are the  3 deliveries that were recorded in statistics books as extras – but will remain greased for ever. Mazhar Majeed had reportedly assured that these would happen with precision. The first ball of the third over of the innings, Amir is to bowl the first over & then the last ball of the tenth over to be bowled by Asif. (see the last para)


For the uninformed, a no ball occurs when a bowler oversteps the line behind which balls should be delivered. The News of the World said members of its reporting team posed as businessmen and paid a middleman who told them exactly what would happen in the three separate incidents during play. Pakistan team manager Yawar Saeed confirmed police officers had taken statements from four players. Pakistan sports minister Ijaz Hussain Jakhrani told the Reuters news agency that any Pakistan player found guilty of match-fixing would be banned from playing for the national side for life.


As a true cricket fan, every time Indians lose – you hear from the not so well versed in cricket, that the team have underperformed deliberately - that it is scandalous betting which decides the game et. al. We tend to brusquely brush that side even as we nurse the wounds of the loss. In the recent series (as also in the recent past) Pakistan have displayed some eccentric performances – few good braced with humiliating defeats. This match fixing exposure would ruin the cricketing world. The sickening controversy would debase the performance of the English bowlers and the great stand between Trott & Broad would be viewed with suspicion.


NOTW have publicized that Pak players accepted dirty money even while millions of people back at home are undergoing harrowing times in natural disaster. In one of the most sensational sporting scandals, it is revealted that Paki seamers Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif delivered THREE blatant no-balls to order. Their London-based fixer Mazhar Majeed, who reportedly spilled the beans on the scam for a pricely £150,000 is reported to have crowed "this is no coincidence" before the bent duo made duff deliveries at precisely the moments promised’ to the news reporter of NOTW. The famed Scotland Yard has launched their own probe, questioned the players and reportedly seized the mobiles of Captain Salman Butt, Amir and Asif.


The glory of the resounding victory by an innings and 225 by England is mired in this controversy. Pak cricket and controversy are neighbours. Four years ago, umpires Darrell Hair and Billy Doctrove ruled Pakistan had forfeited the fourth Test by failing to return to the field in time following the tea interval. The Pakistan team had been incensed about an earlier decision to penalise them five runs for alleged ball-tampering. In 2007 WC, Pak lost to minnows Ireland and shortly thereafter their coach Bob Woolmer was found dead in his hotel room at Jamaica. The Pak players were questioned and the death was termed suspicious though eventually nothing could be proved. An inquiry was launched after they lost every international fixture on last winter's tour to Australia, resulting in four players being suspended by the PCB and three players fined. Three of the bans were subsequently lifted, including indefinite bans on former captains Mohammad Yousuf and Younis Khan, and the fourth is currently subject to an appeal. Hansie Cronje brought infamy by admitting to receiving money from bookmakers for providing information and forecast but denied his role in match fixing.


The immense popularity of the game and millions of watchers has made it a money spinning rocket and allegations of betting and match fixing are surfacing quite frequently. The massive Asian market particularly Mumbai, Delhi, Lahore alongwith London and some other up town cities are reportedly the biggest illegal gambling dens of cricket. At Lahore it is stated that criminal overlords enjoy vast profits from backroom gaming parlours dealing in games like Kamsae and international horse races besides cricket. It is revealed that there are bets ranging from millions to lowly stakes of rickshaw pullers predicting almost everything from the no. of runs, wides, no balls or wickets that fall in a set span of time.


For Pak cricket fans their humiliating 74 all out folding was not the worst shock – but the revelation that the no balls fell in plan, as revealed by the tabloid. Mazhar Majeed had predicted them and told the tabloid that Salman Butt (the captain) had been the ring leader and there were seven others. He had spilled further beans stating he deals with an Indian party !!
Photo from "News of the World"


Things happened as promised – the first ball of the 3rd – Alastair Cook facing, the inform Amir who was breathing fire, overstepped the white line by a huge margin.  Billy Bowden called it no; the Bowler asked for saw dust to indicate loose footing. The commentator (who had no understanding) had commented it to be a dirty great no ball as the it was fully two feet over. As if to confirm Asif then put a good half a foot or so on the last ball of the tenth over.


It is not cricket………………….


A fan still not willing to believe all this.. Sampathkumar

2 comments:

  1. It is really a shame. As you said, the common refrain of people who is not much into cricket, immediately upon an Indian loss is that the team is playing only for money and there would be some underhand dealings. We would feel shy of arguing especially when odds are packed against - at the time of loss. Now, we feel more depressed - Srini

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