The menace of ‘fixing’

The dreaded menace has struck again. What is the nightmare of every cricket fan has resurfaced, with allegations running wild just a few days into the tournament. Within the last couple of days, the term ‘fixing’ has found its way back into sporting headlines, much to the despair of all of us who love the sport.

We were still not done commenting on the absolutely thrilling tie between England and India when the excitement was cut short. It was revealed that Shane Warne had, a few hours before the start of the match, predicted that the game would be a tie. The source was social media, as is mostly the case these days. Twitter being the one this time. It is being said that he had again predicted a tie even after India’s mammoth first innings total of 338. Now as much as I want it to put it down to coincidence, it smells fishy to an extent. At least one thing is for certain. If it had been a Pakistani tweeting about such a thing, it would have resulted in a sting operation by some tabloid. And this is not making a mountain out of a molehill. This is exactly how it would have happened.

There have also been other allegations. The Australian openers, Watson and Haddin, were allegedly involved in spot-fixing in the game against Zimbabwe, raising suspicions due to the very slow run-rate at the start of the innings. The allegations have been dismissed by the Australian players themselves since then. Also, the Sri Lankan state TV has spoken out against Jayawardene and Samaraveera, accusing them of accepting money for the match against Pakistan.

None of these allegations will ever be justified, whether they are true or just rumours. Still the damage has been done yet again to the sport we all love so much. The gentleman’s game has been reduced to speculation and doubts. The sport has lost all integrity.

As a true fan of cricket, I sincerely hope that none of these allegations are true. I love the sport too much to see it being spoilt by the menace of match-fixing. Yet the fact remains that the World Cup is indeed being staged at the very home base of the betting mafia. And the format allows for ample tampering before the knock-out stages begin.

Not much would be done I presume, since no Pakistani cricketer is involved. Since, this is one fact no one can deny. The Pakistanis do seem to have no backing by the ICC. Neither the Pakistan Cricket Board itself. It will always distance itself where its players are concerned, and when the board does take any action, it is always detrimental to the Pakistani interests. So Pakistanis will continue to be blamed and judged, while others may get the benefit of doubt. If this statement seems too far-fetched, let us all just wait for ICC’c reaction to these latest claims.

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