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Published by hemant117

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Published by: hemant117 on May 06, 2011
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sReport onMatchFixing
Cricket has always put itself forth as a gentleman's game. However, thisaspect of the game has come under strain time and again, sadly withincreasing regularity. From BodyLine to Trevor Chappel bowling under-arm, from sledging to ball tampering, instances of gamesmanship havebeen on the rise. Instances of sportsmanship like Courtney Walsh refusingto run out a Pakistani batsman for backing up too soon in a crucial matchof the 1987 World Cup; Imran Khan, as Captain calling back hiscounterpart Kris Srikanth to bat again after the latter was annoyed withthe decision of the umpire; batsmen like Majid Khan walking if they knewthey were out; are becoming rarer yet. Now, with the massive influx ofmoney and sheer increase in number of matches played, cricket hasbecome big business. Now like other sports before it (Baseball (theChicago 'Black-Sox' against the Cincinnati Reds in the 1919 WorldSeries), Football (allegations against Bruce Grobelar; lights going out atthe Valley, home of Charlton Football club)) Cricket faces the threat ofmatch-fixing, the most serious threat the game has faced in its life.2.
Match-fixing is an international threat. It is quite possibly an internationalreality too. Donald Topley, a former county cricketer, wrote in the SundayMirror in 1994 that in a county match between Essex and Lancashire in1991 Season, both the teams were heavily paid to fix the match. Time andagain, former and present cricketers (e.g. Manoj Prabhakar going intopre-mature retirement and alleging match-fixing against the Indian team;the Indian Team refusing to play against Pakistan at Sharjah after theirloss in the Wills Trophy 1991 claiming matches there were fixed) accuseddifferent teams of match-fixing. The Sri Lankan Board ordered an inquiryafter a complete batting collapse led to their loss in the Singer Cup Finalagainst Pakistan, the match that at a stage they were easily winning. Veryrecently allegations that have come to the fore through Chris Lewis,Stephen Flemming etc. and they only demonstrate the world-wide natureof this threat.
However, this commission is limited to inquiring into the matter so far asthe Pakistan Cricket team is concerned. For the Pakistani Cricket Team,the allegation of match-fixing seems to have started when Asif Iqbal wasthe captain of the Pakistani team in 1979-80. Asif was accused of bettingon the toss. G. Vishwanath, an Indian cricketer in his book has written thatwhen he went for the toss with the Pakistani Skipper, the latter withoutcompleting the toss said "congratulations" to the former, saying that theIndian skipper had won the toss.4.
In the Press Fareshteh Gati-Aslam, a Sports Journalist, wrote that in a oneday match held at Nottingham, UK, Wasim Akram and Waqar Younisdeliberately bowled so badly that England team scored more than 300runs, though earlier they had totally demolished the English Team in theTest Series.5.
In the 1994-95 season, the Australian team toured Pakistan and lost theTest Series 1-0. After the series, three of the Australian players, ShaneWarne, Tim May and Mark Waugh accused the then Pakistani Captain,Salim Malik, of offering them bribes to bowl badly in a test and a one-day.(Pakistan had eventually won the test match by one wicket.)6.
In the backdrop of these allegations, the Pakistan Cricket Board (the'PCB') requested Jst. (Retd.) Fakhruddin G. Ibrahim to hold an inquiry intothe allegations by the Australian players against Salim Malik. He submittedhis report on October 21, 1995 in which he acquitted Salim Malik of all thecharges primarily on the basis of insufficient evidence on record. TheAustralian Cricketers had refused to come to Pakistan to testify and thatwas crucial.7.
Almost at the same time as the Australian allegations,
Pakistani cricketersBasit Ali and Rashid Latif had accused some of the Pakistani players ofmatch-fixing. Both even went into pre-mature retirement during animportant tour of South Africa. Aaqib Javed and Aamir Sohail also came upwith similar kind of allegations.8.
In the interim, a Probe Committee inquiry chaired made by Justice EjazYousuf was also made which tentatively suggested that certain players besuspended from playing Cricket. However, this inquiry was abandoned asit was felt that the Committee did not have the powers of a judge whichcould compell people to speak up. Furthermore, this enquiry was done exparte and no opportunity was given to the accused to cross-examinewitnesses or have representation. As such this inquiry was in breach ofnatural justice and may be disregarded. (The Senate too has thereafterlooked into the matter.) The above difficulties are mentioned in the letterfrom the then Chief Executive Majid Khan to the Patron of the Board, thePresident of Pakistan.

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