Cricket: We cheated

Published: September 18, 2011

Muhammad Amir confessed to bowling deliberate no-balls during the Test match in England. PHOTO: AFP / FILE

Disgraced and banned fast bowler, Muhammad Amir has finally seen sense and has confessed to spot fixing during that ill-fated tour of England. Mr Ijaz Butt, the famous Chairman of the PCB, promptly called the English cheats and there was a furore in England over this too. Well, our fantastic ambassador to England joined the fray and caused even more damage, if possible. Pakistan, thus thoroughly disgraced itself at an international forum.

The PCB initially supported the accused trio, Salman Butt, Muhammad Asif and Muhammad Amir. However, they suddenly saw the light and backed off. Perhaps, they considered all the evidence and were told that they were supporting cheating. Nonetheless, they backed off, which  in the end was the most sensible thing to do.

Our famous media, however, has continued to lambast the British, due to their own bigoted approach, and this has gone grossly unchecked.

Well, who then is responsible and who is being punished?

To me, it seems like Asif is the ring leader. However, he adamantly denies any wrong doing. On the other hand, could it be Salman, the idiot of a team captain who just had to make more money? Or is it really our system which doesn’t even ask any of the players that it pays what they are up to or how they afford a life style like they do?

Remember Salman in a Mercedes, Shoaib who couldn’t explain 90,000 Pounds in England, Danish Kaneria’s case in England, the list is endless. But isn’t that the way our leaders also go on? Then again isn’t that why Shoaib Malik is playing or Taufiq Omar or then Imran Farhat?

Has the board ever caught any of the cheaters and punished them? Or does the famous sifarish system work here too? Ejaz Ahmed, who just recently was shown in a wheel chair in a court room trying to defend a bogus cheque has been reprimanded so ferociously by the chairman of the PCB that he has been promoted to the assistant coach of the national team instead of being unceremoniously thrown out from the PCB. I can vouch for the fact that he has cheated others in Sialkot before too. In fact, our players are so concerned by the extra bucks they can make, that they wear and display logos of companies on their clothing despite PCB having a contract with another company, BOOM BOOM! I wonder if they have heard of Adidas, Nike or Reebok? Not even a single cricketer is disciplined for these breaches.

Yes sir, we have cheated the system for some time now and when some of the guys were caught we gave them official sanction and protection. Why do we cheat when we are so talented? Because our system encourages us to cheat. Unfortunately we are doing precious little to stop it. I am asking the media to be responsible and stop emotional reporting and start factual reporting, reporting with a difference; no, reporting to be able to make a difference. Get Asif and Salman Butt in the slammer and get rid of corrupt PCB Officials one by one.

Brig Ayaz Peer Mohammed

Brig Ayaz Peer Mohammed

A retired brigadier from Karachi who is a sports enthusiast and a self proclaimed sports analyst. Has played most games at a serious level in the Army.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • http://www.facebook.com/noman.ansari Noman Ansari

    Great first article! Also, what a fantastic gringo mustache! Oh, and if you are the same person I am thinking of, I think I may have met you through my father, an army bud of yours, a bit back, at DHA! How interesting!

    Anyway, I was waiting to see a blog on this from someone!

    So, yes, this is further egg on the face of Ijaz Butt, who did embarrass the nation further, after the incident. Instead of handling the matter with delicacy, and taking a ‘wait and see’ approach, he exercised the ‘shoot first, ask questions later’ school of thought.

    I personally don’t think Asif was the ring leader, though from how cleverly he barely overstepped during his own no-ball, I was convinced he had been orchestrating things for some time. For my money, Salman Butt was the main culprit, after all, he was the friendliest with the bookie, Mazhar, and he was the skipper.

    Of what you wrote, I only take issue with:

    Or is it really our system which
    doesn’t even ask any of the players
    that it pays what they are up to or
    how they afford a life style like they
    do?

    Remember Salman in a Mercedes

    Well, to be fair, they are international sportsmen, and they make tons of money from sponsorship, and advertising. Also, sitting in someone’s Mercedes isn’t a crime. Even if it was Salman Buttoo’s merc., I think the captain of Pakistan should be able to afford one.

    I do feel that at times there is a danger where we see a smoking gun everywhere, even when it doesn’t exist. But, agree with the rest of it. From something as little as double dipping with sponsors, to spot fixing, cricketers only do it, because they feel they can get away with it.

    I also agree that some of these meatheads should be thrown in the ‘slammer’, as it were.

    Oh, and that’s terrible about Ijaz Ahmed being in a wheelchair. When I was a kid, Ijaz used to belt a lot of sixers, and in Australia, was called the ‘butcher of Sialkot’ (the term seems to have a darker meaning now, sadly). Recommend

  • http://zaidzamanhamid.wordpress.com/ Zaid Hamid

    Again…it is a saazisg against Pak sarzameenRecommend

  • https://twitter.com/#!/fahadk85 Fah

    “Unfortunately we are doing precious little to stop it. I am asking the media to be responsible and stop emotional reporting and start factual reporting, reporting with a difference; no, reporting to be able to make a difference. Get Asif and Salman Butt in the slammer and get rid of corrupt PCB Officials one by one.”

    Agreed sir, it’s time cricket got rid of this cheats for good. I mean look at the current tour of Zimbabwe, no controversies, nothing and they are winning comprehensively..that’s what crickets about(winning for your country/pride/patriotism/honor)..not money!Recommend

  • Usman

    Cant agree more. This was exactly my views when the issue of spot fixing against the trio was raised and I still stand by it seeking someone who dares and scruff the cheaters by the neck and throw them out of the system.
    If the PCB had the least of the management senses, they could have taken the things maturely and controlled the proceedings. Get Aamir into confidence and make him speak the truth with little of the repercussions. And from the there the PCB should themselves take the case to the ICC and controlled the proceedings. This could have made a huge impact today with the criminal court hearings for which now the trio face the worse.

    And it will not be a surprise if more names surface now with Amir’s confession. I am sure there are black lambs in the flock sitting in the management. Let Amir put up all the names involved.Recommend

  • Born Again Pakistani

    We are a nation where this kind of corruption ins institutionalised and people dont think it is bad. It is only in more developed world that it is looked down. So in a nation of cheats what else do you expect from your cricketers… to be saints? Isnt it a bit too much to ask. Recommend

  • Dr. Amyn Malik

    Agreed!Recommend

  • Hamid Hanif

    WELL DONE PEERU ! We need to call ‘ A spade a spade ‘.Recommend

  • Anoop

    Your last sentence is interesting and one could accuse you of doing exactly what you wished people in Pakistan didn’t.

    “Get Asif and Salman Butt in the slammer and get rid of corrupt PCB Officials one by one.”

    So, Asif and Butt should go to the slammer but not the guy who has actually confessed?

    Again, do not give me this rubbish about him being young and naive. If he is above 18 years of age, then according to the law he is an adult and capable of taking care of himself.

    Should Pakistan let go a 18 year old suicide bomber, or a murderer, or a thief, or a rapist, just because he is young and naive? Why adopt different standards for different crimes? Recommend

  • Zunaira Rizvi

    I just stumbled across this very well written article only to check the author and find Uncle Peer! :) Couldn’t agree more to the failings of our system and the international embarrassment caused by our much talented players. If only they’d wake up and smell the coffee. Hope to read more posts from you Uncle! A pleasant surprise indeed! :) Recommend

  • N

    Well written and these fellows should be prosecuted.
    The cheaters, the Ambassador and Ijaz Butt reflect what we are as a society – schizophrenic hyper nationalist dupes. We flout all laws, blame others and live in our make belief world where everything is a conspiracy. Recommend

  • Marium

    If only you were a sports analyst instead of a retired army brigadier!! This is a superb article. Someone calling it the way it is. These cricketers need to be hung for the shame and disgrace they have bought to this country. Young children looked up these so called “national heroes” in hopes to become like them. Get rid of the corrupt PCB officials and try them in court. Cricket needs to be played for the pride of the country and not money. Recommend

  • Ayaz Peer Mohammed

    @anoop. Please don’t misunderstand the statement. Aamir will go to jail and the British justice system will deal with him, therefore I did not mention him. Sorry. No excuses for cheats.
    Sir, Unfortunately, our players have never been paid like Ten, Dravid, sehwag and so on and so on…. because we are not those brand ambassadors. CA, IHSAN and all. So endorsements don’t get them as much as we think. Jahangir Khan did. Riding a Merc, no issues but getting one while cheating. no no no.
    AyazRecommend

  • hassan

    Qasim Omar, who scored a century against the fastest bowling attack in Adelaide in 1984, accused Pak cricketers – some well-known names – of taking performance-enhancing drugs.

    He also accused his team mates were doing match fixing and he also said that the Pak cricketers ‘were provided with women to under perform in Test matches.

    Qasim Omar was sacked by his employer, Muslim Commercial Bank, after he went public with his allegations and then the Pakistan board banned him for seven years. He now lives in Manchester, as a practicing Muslim with active interest in Tableeghi movement.Recommend

  • http://www.alphaza.blogspot.com Murtaza Ali Jafri

    Fantastic piece! hit the nail right on the head! we encourage the sifarish system because of a sick sense of entitlement that is sure to be our downfall unless we have the courage, will and sheer audacity to change and stand up for what we believe in rather than chase a few quick bucks down a gutter of disrepute even deeper than the recesses we currently occupy. Recommend

  • Anoop

    @Ayaz Peer Mohammed:

    You said it- The BRITISH System will deal with them. What will the Pakistani system do? Or atleast, what will PCB do?

    Amir can be accused of 2 things now.
    1) Cheating and defacing the Country’s reputation and a wonderful game.
    2) Lying about it, when he ought to have confessed.

    ICC has banned him for 10 years, yet to hear PCB take such stringent action. The fact that he lied should, I think, invite a life ban.

    Jayawardane, Lara and the likes, legends, have not been paid as much as Dravid or a Tendulkar have. But, they haven’t cheated. That is not an excuse.

    Former Pakistanis, the Bangladesh team, is paid dismally when compared to their Pakistani counterparts. But, they dont cheat, do they. Even Sri Lankan Cricket Board is poor and their Cricketers are extremely honest.

    I intentionally took the Sub-Continental examples of integrity. Recommend

  • Doctor

    Great article. We Pakistanis must stop defending the cheats and terrorists.. They have soiled our good name and I can’t understand why we defend the most awful people who are terrorists like Qadri and Dr. Aafia and cheats and scoundrels like our cricketers.

    We have a mentality that we should be able to get away with anything and this infiltrates everything. The honest, peaceful man in Pakistan is beaten down daily while the cheat, the liar, and the scoundrel succeed.

    Please help fix this.Recommend

  • Waseem

    Good Article,
    I just want to add something here that why are we so ashmed/angry/defensive on when out cricketers cheated. Why are we even saying anyything to them. Isn’t everyone else in Pakistan cheating as well. From the president to the person who is unemployed. For the mullah of the mosque to the terrorist…(although it could be the same person)…
    we are taught to cheat and lie from day 1. We are taught to steal, we are taught to commit fraud, if someone pays taxes we laugh at them, if someone tells the truth we think that person is dumb or “SAAIEN or BHOLA” so these cricketers did exactly what we do in our daily lives, the only bad luck they had was that they did it in England, which being a non muslim country doesn’t lie..doesn’t steel, doesn’t committ fraud.

    Now before everyone start coming at me that people in western countries lie and cheat and steel, when we talk about nation we normally look at the average population and an average person, so on an average basis that non muslim country is much better in all these qualities that a muslim should have.Recommend

  • Sameer

    @ Waseem

    i totally agree with you sir.

    we need to develop ourselves as a nation.
    and the change starts from micro level and moves to macro level.
    we need to change ourselves positively then our family, our neighbors, and then from close community to whole society.
    surely it will take time, but what matters is our firm will and sound intentions to develop and improve ourselves.Recommend

  • Sameer

    @ Doctor

    please avoid in dragging the discussion into religious matters like Aafia and Qadri as it is sports related article.Recommend