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Posts Tagged ‘match-fixing’

UnderDelhi

In February 1995, one of Mumbai’s top police officers was investigating a murder case when his men brought in a suspect for interrogation. As soon as he saw the officer, the man broke down. “Sir, main bahut gareeb aadmi hoon. Mera murder se koi connection nahi hai. Main chotta aadmi hoon, sirf match-fixing karta hoon [I'm a very poor man. I don't have any connection with the murder. I only fix matches],” he said.

Till then, the officer hadn’t even heard of fixing. At the time, India were in New Zealand for the Centenary Cup tournament, along with South Africa and Australia. “Kal ka match fixed hai, sir [Tomorrow's match is fixed],” the man said. Once it was proved that he had nothing to do with the killing, he was allowed to leave. Over the years, while business has flourished, he has continue to give the police information. Periodically, the cops arrest his men from various city suburbs. Each time, they go out on bail.

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“We had just won the World Cup, and I thought I could get away with murder, man … I think one has to have a guide, a mentor they can talk to, trust, and blindly believe what they say. It could be a fellow player, a coach or parents. If that other person says you are crap right now, you close your eyes and believe that is so. Thankfully due to my education and upbringing, I realised soon that I was heading the wrong way.”

These are not the thoughts of the 18-year-old Mohammad Amir, who played his part in Pakistan’s World Twenty20 triumph last year. Those words came from Robin Uthappa, now 24, in an interview with Cricinfo. With Amir now suspended and likely to face a ban from all forms of cricket, we should focus on what Uthappa says. Make no mistake, Indian or Pakistani, every young player who comes into the bubble is vulnerable. (more…)

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With the passage of time, it’s tempting to look at the past indulgently and it isn’t just Neil Harvey who claims that things were better in his day. There’s a genuine tendency to look at the era that you grew up in as the golden age. My uncle will never look beyond Pelé, Tostão, Gerson and Rivelino, just as I’ll always swear by Greenidge, Richards, Holding and Roberts.

In some cases, though, you’re more than happy to leave the past behind. It’s hard not to feel diffident about one-day cricket in the mid-1990s. In the half-decade before the Delhi police blew the lid off match-fixing, the bookies ran amok. How many results from that era can we take seriously? How many matches did Hansie Cronje fiddle with, especially given that he won such a high percentage? And most importantly, how did those who weren’t on the take feel about being sold down the river?

Exactly 15 years ago, four teams gathered in Colombo to play a tournament called the Singer World Series. It would subsequently become infamous for John-the-Bookie revelations, especially concerning the Pakistan-Australia game that was investigated by the Qayyum Commission and many others.

You can read the full article here.

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