Category Archives: Corruption/Cheating

Bryan Carrasco – biggest ever football cheat?

Chile U20 star tries to get opponent sent off by smacking himself in face

In probably the greatest – or should that be worst – attempt to get an opponent sent off ever, Chile U20 star Bryan Carrasco has been caught smacking himself in the face with another player’s hand in a bid to win a free-kick.

Pakistan spot-fixing allegations

My god, this is hardly a confidence inspiring response:

Nervous Butt faces the media
August 29, 2010

Why can’t Salman say whether are the allegations are true or not?
Butt: These are just allegations and anybody can stand out and say anything, it doesn’t mean they are true. They include quite a few people and they are still ongoing. We’ll see what happens.

Sambit Bal puts the blame where it belongs. What a shame this concerns Amir, in the opinion of many commentators the best 18-year-old bowler they’ve ever seen.

Stop the tour, save the game
Sambit Bal
August 30, 2010

Irrespective of how the investigations go, Pakistani administrators must ask some tough questions of themselves. Why is it that their cricket has not managed to shake off the ghost of match-fixing? Why will the whispers around their team not go away? Is it because the board itself is so dysfunctional and so utterly shambolic that it has been unable to provide any sense of stability, let alone guidance, to its cricketers?

Or is it because it never managed to make a clean break with the match-fixing, merely chopping down a few rotten trees but letting the seeds remain? Justice Malik Mohammad Qayyum, who presided over the match-fixing enquiry and himself admitted to being lenient towards a player or two, has blamed the PCB for not implementing his recommendations in full. Too many players indicted by him were let off with fines and left within the system. It’s hard to tell what message it sent to the players, and hard also to deny that the taint of match-fixing has never been fully cleansed.

The cost of losing out on a few one-day games is a trifle before the cost of the sanctity of the game. Mohammad Amir must either stand tall or never bowl a ball again. Nothing in between is acceptable.

Osman Samiuddin puts this broken Cricket Board in the context of a broken society.

Forever the shadow
Osman Samiuddin
July 9, 2010
For Pakistan, the cloud of match-fixing never really went away. The perception of it has woven itself into the very fabric of society at large

Two ghosts have haunted Pakistan this decade: Osama bin Laden and the Fixed Match.

India and South Africa made more or less clean breaks after their investigations in 2000. Sourav Ganguly and Shaun Pollock (and then Graeme Smith) immediately began new, successful eras for their sides as captain. Big existing fish such as Hansie Cronje and Mohammad Azharuddin were banned for life and smaller fish, such as Ajay Jadeja or Ajay Sharma or Henry Williams, were not only punished but never played for their countries again.

The Qayyum report, on the other hand, was a classic Pakistani attempt at inquiry, one which bathes in its ambiguity and smells fresh of cover-up afterwards. Saleem Malik was banned for life, but he hadn’t played for Pakistan for over a year. Similarly Ata-ur-Rehman had last represented the country in 1996. The rest, mostly big names, were absolved but in varying degrees. Even now we remain uncertain about the full extent of the involvement, if any, of Wasim Akram, Mushtaq Ahmed, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Saeed Anwar and Waqar Younis.

That a match is fixed has become a casual belief, like the one that says the US, Mossad or RAW is behind all the trouble in the land. Man get out, match fixed; man go slow, match fixed; man drop catch, match fixed; man bowl wide, match fixed; man has money, match fixed.

It goes deeper than that as well, beyond the region’s obsession generally with betting. Match-fixing feeds conveniently into a number of traditional Pakistani nerve centres. There is, for example, already a deep-seated distrust of public figures in the hearts of the vast majority of the population. This has developed steadily over the course of nearly 60 years of megalomaniacal leaders, corruption, cultish politics and extreme maladministration.

That a politician, a president, a judge, a policeman, an army general or a bureaucrat is corrupt is, and long has been, inevitable. It is a given. Cricketers used to be above this, but match-fixing simply dragged them down …

Fixing also fits neatly into our thirst for a good ol’ conspiracy theory, and nothing has more currency in Pakistan. Some newspapers and TV channels exist almost entirely on such fuel. Wives conspire against in-laws, employees against bosses, maids against other maids. Banks are, according to TV show kooks like Zaid Hamid, a Zionist conspiracy. The birth of Bangladesh was a vast conspiracy. The USA conspires against us on a daily basis. India is in a perpetual state of conspiracy against us. Attacks within the country’s borders – even some outside it planned by Pakistanis – are a conspiracy against the country. Without such conspiracies, the state will fall down.

It is a convenient and cheap way out, and it suits everyone. There is no need to examine deeper causes because denial and inertia are easier than rational, analytical debate. So when Kamran Akmal drops four catches in Sydney, it has to be because he was paid to do it by some dodgy bookie. Unsubstantiated allegations are then hurled about around him. That he is unarguably a terrible wicketkeeper who has been doing precisely this for four years doesn’t come into it: Cricinfo’s ball-by-ball data from 2006 onwards shows that, at a minimum, Akmal has fluffed 31 chances in his last 25 Tests.

Pakistan’s great comforter will happily tell you all those Tests have been fixed if you want him to. And he’ll find enough supporters because even those who laugh when they say we go crazy for conspiracies add – with a worried laugh – that conspiracy theories have a way of coming true in Pakistan.

Well, amid all the gloom, a little humour:

The world match-fixing championship
Anand Ramachandran
May 28, 2010

With the menace of match-fixing once again rearing its ugly head and spreading its tentacles across India, Pakistan and England, cricket authorities are faced with the stern challenge of ensuring that the sport is kept clean. This time, however, they have responded with an elegant and far-sighted solution that will ensure that the sport is rid of match-fixing once and for all – by simply legalising the entire thing.

“Several countries legalise things such as prostitution, gambling, and even marijuana, so that these activities are brought under government regulation, and become legitimate businesses that generate revenue for the authorities. So we’ve decided that the way forward is to legalise match-fixing and bring it under ICC rules, so that the sport can be free of this illegal and evil influence,” said ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat, ignoring the shadowy figure with a mobile phone lurking behind him.

To kick off the new initiative, the ICC will organise a world match-fixing championship, in which the finest match-fixing talent from around the globe will battle for supremacy. Teams will first fix matches in a group stage, which will be played in a league format, and then the four best teams (India, Pakistan, England and West Indies) will progress to the semi-finals. In the final India will bat first and score about 250, despite losing both openers within the first three overs. Pakistan, when chasing, will start well, but a clutch of run-outs in the middle order will cost them dearly. Misbah-ul-Haq will remain unbeaten on a fighting 47 as India win by 12 runs. India will then become the first ICC match-fixing world champions, ensuring that the tournament is insanely profitable. The ICC world match-fixing championships will also be the first international sporting tournament where the final result is already known in advance, other than Wimbledon between 2003 and 2007.