Match fixing in cricket is an everyday affair nowadays across the globe. Although there are certain countries that are blamed for this sort of crime in particular, most of the star teams have been involved in spot fixing in cricket some time or the other. In an organized sport like Cricket, match fixing or spot fixing takes place when a match is being played. The result or partial stage of the match is pre-determined which is certainly against the sports ethics as well as the laws. There are times when games are lost intentionally or teams do not play their best to score as high as they could as a part of gambling instructions. This is no doubt the most sneering association for the players, team officials, umpires and anyone involved in this affair.
Match fixing in cricket refers to fixing the final result of the game; however spot fixing is about gambling upon particular events like a couple of overs or balls. Generally match fixing takes place via agents who are popularly known as bookies. People who intend to bet on specific games apply through the bookies that act as mediators and often negotiate deals with the teams and their managers on behalf of the big players. Now these big players are no doubt the father of all fixing and betting game. They are the ones who run this worldwide profitable business of fixing and betting matches. Some of the big shots from the underworld, international business and even the sports world could be involved in this network; however they are never caught or detected. Only people who often get hooked in this trap are the bookies and players.
Money invested in betting or sport fixing in cricket comes from the gamblers betting on their favorite teams across the globe. It is a large network funded by common men who indulge in betting for fun, pleasure or money making. Cricket being the most popular game with global recognition has the largest number of scandals associated with spot fixing. Some of the popular match fixing scandals is as follows:
- In 1999-2000, during the South Africa vs. India tour, Delhi Police captured conversations between Hansie Cronje, the South African captain and a blacklisted bookie. After Hansie admitted his crime in front of the South African jury, he was banned from cricket for good. Indian cricketers like Mohammad Azharuddin and Ajay Jadeja were also accused of being involved and Jadeja faced a 4 years’ ban.
- Mark Waugh and Shane Warne were fined for leaking information about the pitch and the weather to a bookie.
- Recently two young Pakistani cricketers, Mohammed Asif and Mohammed Aamer were accused of being involved in betting and hence they were sent behind the bars as a punishment.
There are numerous other instances where players have voluntarily been involved in betting with an aim to earn big bucks in short time. However there are occasions wherein the team members and officials are threatened to take part in sport fixing in cricket. The involvement of underworld and international mafia in the scene makes things even for complicated and intimidating for the players.
The sole reason why match fixing and betting is in full swing till date is because there is no strict law associated with this issue. In India, the government is yet to chalk out precise laws to give strictest punishment to the players who indulge in cricket betting. Also the ICC and BCCI has major role to play when it comes to putting a stop on match fixing.
Also cricketers should realize that a great deal of emotion and affection of the common men is associated with this game. Countless supporters spend their hard earned money to buy expensive match tickets and visit their heroes playing some good cricket. There should be some serious awareness on the part of the cricketers when it comes to fixing the matches. Although recent jail terms announced for Salman Butt has served as the warning call for some cricketers, there is a lot more to do in order for eliminating this practice for good.