Itâ€™s just one thing after another with Pakistan. I recently wrote about the sham marriage scandal blighting Western Europe involving Pakistani nationals. I also wrote about the lack of money given to the country after the recent flooding. Now we have a betting scandal involving Pakistani cricketers.
This is not the first match fixing scandal involving Pakistan. Thereâ€™s already been an investigation regarding their tour in Australia earlier this year. Match fixing is big business throughout Asia. This is not unique to Pakistan. Illegal gambling and all sorts of betting scams are rampant throughout the continent.
This time round it was the News of the World that exposed match rigging. Some middleman called Mazhar Majeed is given Â£150,000 cash to bribe Pakistani players. Itâ€™s agreed that no-balls will be bowled at specific times during the match. Four Pakistani players have been questioned by the cops, the captain Salman Butt, bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir, and wicket keeper Kamran Akmat.
The evidence is damning. The News of the World must have been watching the match very closely and praying that the no-balls would happen as was pre-arranged. Well their prayers were answered when the no-balls came and were very blatant no-balls.
No doubt there will be a full investigation into the incident but itâ€™s already obvious that match fixing did indeed take place. The charge is going to be a conspiracy to defraud bookmakers.
This was a sting operation by the News of the World but how many games have been rigged without anyone ever knowing about it? How did the paper get into contact with Mazhar Majeed to begin with? Has this guy been involved in previous match fixing?
The temptation is always there for players. Cricketers donâ€™t get the same money as the top soccer players. Itâ€™s human nature to want more than what you have and when thereâ€™s an opportunity to make lots of easy money it is hard to say no. For those that get away with it the guilt sets in. But more importantly the paranoia sets in. Peace of mind is something these guys are not going for in these situations. And for those who get caught there is usually a heavy price to pay. Long suspensions from playing, not to mention the ruining of your reputation and the stigma attached to being a cheater.
This whole episode is just one more incident that continues to drag Pakistan through the mud. Millions of Pakistanis are suffering as a result of the floods while some of their countrymen are taking bribes to fix a cricket match. Cricket isnâ€™t high on the radar of most countries but this will be all over the news and the association will be made very clearly with Pakistan and bribery. Thatâ€™s more than enough to ensure the money wonâ€™t come to help the victims of the flood.