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Oh The Convenient Thought of Match Fixing in Cricket

January 7, 2010

Zainab Jeewanjee Says Don't Waste Time Thinking About Match Fixing

Zainab Jeewanjee Says Don't Wonder About Match Fixing, Worry About Fixing the Team!

We’ve all thought about it. Some of us think it’s true, some of us think it’s rubbish. But we’ve definitely heard it before: does match fixing in cricket drive world class teams to consistently choke in the most unbelievable ways?

I’m not going to lie: it’s appealing to think match fixing is the reason Kamran Akmal drops not one, not two, not three, but four catches off a single batsman in one match, or Younis Khan for years underperforms, making similar mishaps leaving no apparent merit based reason for his captaincy. And let’s not forget Pakistan’s 2007 World Cup debacle where they managed to somehow lose to Ireland. Yes, Ireland: an ICC Charter team. And mind you this is the second time in World Cup history that Pakistan shocked the world with incomprehensible play. In 1999, being the top team when reaching the world cup, renowned cricketers including the likes of Wasim Akram, Soaib Akhtar, Inzamam-ul-Haq just up and choked in the final against Australia. The string of under-performances are just astounding and fan a notion that match fixing takes place.

But the idea of match fixing is only appealing because in a vicarious way, it absolves us fans of any liability for failure. It’s a convenient defense mechanism that assures very loyal, often nationalistic fans that their team, or nation if you will, simply can’t fail: talent is so exceptionally immense that only bookies could be the cause of such horrendous cricket.

And that’s irrational. Without proof of match fixing, it’s futile to even speculate. The fact is, Pakistani cricket is in shambles. Yes it’s frustrating because there is exceptional talent and an illustrious history of amazing cricketers. But a wicket keeper who drops 4 catches in a single match and performs at mediocre level the remainder of the season is not a world class cricketer. Kamran Akmal, is not, and could never be Pakistan’s best wicket keeper or batsman. Similarly, Younis Khan has proven he isn’t a good captain. He sends out pace bowlers when the ball is swinging, places fielders so opposition is almost assured to find gaps during power plays and rarely puts up a match winning total or leads the team with genuine passion.

The point is, Pakistan’s current lineup are playing like a mediocre bunch. When viewed within the context of the rest of the world, they’re just not hacking it. It’s not about match fixing, it’s about fixing the cricket.

Granted Pakistan increasingly looks like a war zone and in such an environment, one can’t expect the team be run at optimal levels by National Cricket board. But still one shouldn’t waste time on match fixing allegations. Cricket isn’t immune to bookies (Hans Cronje, Mohammad Azharuddin, Shane Warne & Mark Waugh), however, until proven guilty, let’s assume innocence and focus on the real issue at hand: rooting out poor performers and bringing in better cricketers.

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10 comments

  1. time seems to stand still. the story has repeated itself and the earliest memories i have regarding this subject go back to the time of the little master. legend has it that he would score a predetermined number of runs in almost every match.

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  2. Ali:

    Wow. Really, even the Little Master? I had never heard that before…..

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  3. We have to take politics out of Pakistani sports and get sponsors with deeper pockets. There are more than enough talent in Pakistan but true talent is not always well connected or from rich family. There are not enough training facilities or financial support for talent to shine. Syed Hussain Shah won Bronze Metal in Boxing in 1988. He used to live in one room with his family, no sponsors or a decent job. He could have done more if he had the support from government or sponsors.
    Squash players rather take coaching jobs in Middle East clubs to support the family. Travelling expenses are high and getting visas are main problem for Pakistani squash players. We used to rule the top 5 now there is no Pakistani in world top 15.
    Until players get paid what they deserve, we will not have a great team.

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  4. I think a lot of this has to do with the fact that there is unpredictability in the tenures of captains and main players of Pakistan team. If you assure the captain and the players that they will be judged on a long term performance analysis, and not just one or two games, they I believe will perform better and work on improving themselves on the field. That way a team will work as a team and the captain will know his boys and will work on their performances. If they know that this is the group that is here to stick, they will learn to work and play as a team.

    Just a thought. =)

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  5. Yasser also says don’t worry about Match Fixing, Worry about Fixing the Team and especially the Cricket Board.

    Paki team played well though,yeah to be accurate they played well for three days, but missed the winning and finishing attitude, Yasser strongly believe our team need a strong mentor like Javed Minadad or someone like him.

    I like the Cap in above picture 😉

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    • its a hat

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  6. Zainab, I dont think match fixing is the whole culprit, if at all. I feel certain that the problem lies in the politics of the administration of the game.If you look at the west Indies side who were once the best team ever for a very long time, suddenly nose-dived. It is not because of ability or match fixing.
    If you look at the Indian team, who are no 1 test side at moment, it is because their cricket is like their national politics -sound and stable.
    When Pakistan sort out their main politics, their cricket team will deservedly be no 1 in thre world

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  7. Other than Younus lacking passion, I agree with the entirety of the article. He has much more passion than he really should which results in him making bad decisions of the field the likes of which have been seen by all in the recent past. BTW, is there a reason why you left out Wasim Akram and Saleem Malik when citing the people charged with match fixing?

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    • Hmmm, more passion causing his lousy captaincy…now that’s an interesting take on it.

      Why did i leave out match fixing charges on Akram? Because i coulnd’t find a legitimate source with the whole story that i could link to, and on Saleem Malik, i simply had no idea, hehe.

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  8. salam ji ma match fixing ka softwear kay bary ma janna chata ho tel me now plz or us softwear ko chalana sikhna chata ho

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