Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Game of Fixing

Finally cricketers face Jail Terms in the ongoing spot fixing saga at England court. Having set the tone you know where this article is directed to.

Being an avid cricket fan and a blogger I regularly read columns written by various columnists associated to the sport. At this time I will have to mention most of these columnists happen to be ex-cricketers or TV presenters or a Journalist following the game forever. All of these writers mostly analyze a cricket match, cricket tours, should be strategies for the team, nuances of the sport, reminiscence of the past etc but nothing in particular dealing the global issue of match fixing. I can certainly bet all these columnists must have discussed this match fixing saga at length but not sure why nobody want to register their say thru an article. So, there is some truth to the saying “Talk all you want but beware of what you ink”. May be they must have written something, but none caught my eyes yet. All that public come to know about match fixing is the news published by the media. Let us move on to the main course.

Honestly, I never expected the verdict to finish up with Jail Terms for I’m used to cricketers banned for life the worst. Now that the bigger punishment is called for that hugely taints the image of the board and its players, I’ve faint hunch this issue is not going down alone but wake the past demons. Demons I meant the Cronje and Woolmer death which are far bigger conspiracies compared to the petty problem to which the verdict is Jail Terms. It is my personal opinion that fair investigation/trial did not take place on both Cronje and Woolmer episodes.

Hansie Cronje involves in match fixing, accepts his guilt only to wind up dead on a plane crash. One of the most successful coaches of the game Bob Woolmer suddenly found dead in his hotel room after his team failed to proceed beyond the group stages of World Cup 2007. Definitely the conspiracy & crime in both these episodes are larger magnitude and the criminals got away with the free pass. It is my individual view that Cronje was silenced so he won’t haunt later with an autobiography, while Woolmer death is more of Vendetta. In any case truth remains buried and the games governing body maintains silence to keep its members happy.

The memorandum of understanding “Not to drag others when you go down” usually takes a serious stick with harsh sentence. If somebody decide to dig past ghosts, it is only fair for feeling isolated (nobody tours in the fear of terrorism), if not quarantined by other boards. Well, this is only my logic for waking the ghosts.

By all means, if serious crimes get free pass why petty thieves face imprisonment?

At the same time, Jail Sentence may be new to cricket but it is no new to sports. If you are interested feel free to click the hyperlink Sports Betting Scandals. Again talking of punishment, I do agree that the intensity varies based on origin. Hansie Cronje got the maximum fine, Australians got away with minor fines for misdealing, Jadeja & Azhar were issued lifetime ban. The degree of penalty may have been different but problem remains the same in all the issues. Once again the games governing body stand different for different boards.

Like it or not the issue of “FIXING” exists at the root level. Teams in order to avoid relegation from the division/league usually fix their final few games with their opponents. In this case the opposition doesn’t throw the game deliberately by dropping catches/run outs but rest their star players to make it easy. Similarly Teams import players from outside for their final games to save their ass. So, fixing is very common even at the root level where betting is no way near the Stakes.

When the system is corrupted why blame the stakes?

I personally feel abolition of betting is not going to resolve this problem. In fact, making it legal will only limit the corruption. After all, it is only in India and few other countries betting are illegal. To me, betting is just an instinct of man kind. There is no denying every human must have involved in some casual bet with a friend/colleague/relative while serious folks play with large stakes in big forum. However people calling it sin play the game in the name of CHALLENGE. Anyways it is an instinct, so better embrace it rather attempt to abolish it. Like how government of Tamil Nadu controls the sale of liquor, even betting can be controlled by the government which in return fill the vault. 

At the same time, every sport, every sportsman, every game administration has to deal this issue of fixing. There is no harm in exploring the best practices to control the viral in CRICKET.

Cricket Lover

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