Illegal Cricket Betting Has Cricketing World In Disarray

World cricket is in a crisis!  Is this the end of the gentleman’s game? Can one ever trust cricket players again?  This is some of the despairing comments making newspaper headlines across the globe the last week after four Pakistani players have been found guilty of match-fixing.

“It’s probably the biggest cricketing scandal since the fall of Hansie Cronje”, Haroon Lorgat, CEO of the International Cricket Board (ICB) said.  Another dark cloud hangs over the sport because Mazhar Majeed, the agent of many Pakistani players has been arrested for allegedly bribing players.  Scotland Yard is investigating more than 23 charges against the players and their agent and cricketers have also been ordered to appear before the ICB.

The fact that Pakistani captain Salman Butt and fast bowlers Mohammed Amir, Mohammed Asif and Wahab Riaz are also alleged to be involved brings into question the result of an already controversial Test against Australia in January.  It’s pretty suspicious when a wicketkeeper botches four potential catches while the opponents are 50 runs ahead.  Pakistan lost this match in Sydney by 36 runs.

Now cricket fans worldwide are wondering whether the result was manipulated to make money for those betting on the game.  If, so cricket itself is the biggest loser.  The scenes recorded with a hidden camera by British tabloid News of the World in London on 25 August are like something out of a spy movie.  Majeed stuffs bundles of bank notes-a total of $200,000 into a suitcase while promising no-balls, which as agreed would be bowled by its players at specific times during the Test match.

“I know what’s going to happen (in the game), “he tells the newspaper journalist pretending to be a bookie. I’ll arrange Test match results for a million, “he then adds. The following day Mohammed Amir and bowling partner Mohammed Asif bowled the no-ball exactly at the intervals in the game as agreed with Mazhar. Mahzar also stated that fixed bets on no-balls are easiest and how many will occur. “There is also no sign of risk between players on the field”.

Meanwhile scores of international players have urged the ICB to investigate the suspected players as soon as possible and severely punish those found guilty-lifelong suspension and huge fines are justified. Some believe that Mohammed Amir should be given another chance because as an 18 year-old he was easily influenced by the older players and because he’s one of the most promising young players in the sport.

How Betting Scams Work in Cricket

Cricket unfortunately lends itself to spot-betting, Sir Ronald Flanagan, head of sport’s anti-corruption unit says. This is how it works: bets are placed on specific occurrences during a cricket Test match, such as missed catches and no-balls. These are then manipulated by players to achieve a certain result from which gamblers-with their prior knowledge-benefit.

For example there will be bets on when the first wide ball will be bowled in a match. In soccer the bets could be on when the first ball will be thrown in from the sideline. In rugby spot-betting can also be manipulated by players; for instance by throwing the ball into a lineout skew or knocking on a ball so a scum or penalty kick will take place at a specific time during a rugby test match.

Sports gamblers bet more often on the result of a match. Former Proteas captain Hansie Cronje was involved in match-fixing by means of providing information beforehand on how a match between South Africa and India was expected to progress.

Dehli police recorded a telephonic conversation between Hansie Cronje and a professional gambler on the blacklist as evidence of his involvement.

The Federal Bureau of Income in Pakistan will have a look at the banking affairs, property and cars of all the Pakistani players in an attempt to ascertain whether they have acquired anything by legal means. “I think this is a good thing” the team’s manager, Shafqat Rana says. “It will open things up so that players will be very careful”.  To a certain extend this might go toward lifting the dark cloud which has descended on world cricket.  It’s especially sad that players from violence torn and corruption-plagued Pakistan have been implicated in this scandal former Pakistani players say.

“In Pakistan cricket serves as bond across religious, ethnic and political divides,” says Ramiz Raja, former Pakistan captain and CEO of the Pakistan Cricket Board.  Recent allegations of match – fixing have made him and his countrymen hang their heads in shame, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani says.

To conclude; England Captain Andrew Strauss, says “We are sad, despondent and not happy that our efforts in this Test match have overshadowed by this alleged match-fixing scandal”.



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