Pakistan vs India: Silencing the match-fixing rumours

Published: March 22, 2012

It was a ‘must-win’ match for India to reserve a seat in the final. They were more composed and willing to win. PHOTO: REUTERS

The match-fixing rumours started spreading after India’s victory over Pakistan in the Asia Cup match that took place on March 18, 2012. The match was played in its real essence – a typical Pakistan-India match that contained everything: high scores, long partnerships, centuries, nervousness, misfielding, bad shots, huge sixes, all round performance by the top performers of both the sides, two heroes, two villains from both sides, tense captains and a nerve-wracking experience that a match between arch-rivals usually instigates.

But still, they say, it was fixed and their reasons are:

  • Cricketing authorities want a Pak-India final, to earn millions of dollars and India’s defeat would not have served this purpose
  • Bookies are behind all of this; they needed to raise the “bar”
  • To maintain India’s supremacy at the highest level and the list goes on…

There is absolutely no doubt that bookies influence the matches which are being played in South Asia. They have a special interest in the matches that are either played in India or with India. But it does not essentially mean that every single match between India and Pakistan is fixed.

There are a few very important reasons to support the point I am making here, such as:

  • It was a ‘must-win’ match for India to reserve a seat in the final. They were more composed and willing to win
  • It was not a ‘must-win’ match for Pakistan as they had already secured their position in the final; hence, they were casual and unprofessional on the field
  • Indian batsmen do not perform under pressure but everyone, from Sachin to Dhoni, was focused and desperate to win
  • The body language of Pakistani players on the field remained negative from the third over till the end
  • Pakistani bowlers were overconfident because they had already done a great job in the tournament and against India in the previous game (World Cup semi-final)
  • Getting Wahab in after a year on the basis of a performance he gave against the same team a year earlier was not a professional approach. Pakistan had to pay the price
  • Indian batting was underrated and the overconfident Pakistani bowlers, due to a lack of planning against Sachin, Kohli and Rohit, were visibly short of ideas when they were being bashed.
  • No one understood Misbah’s change in the bowling line; why Hafeez was changed after an outstanding opening over; why Ajmal was brought in so late and was not used when Kohli was struggling at the start; why Misbahul Haq didn’t have frequent enough meetings with seniors and ex-captains like Younis and Afridi to handle Sachin, Rohit and Kohli etc, and why his approach was so defensive and negative that changed mode of the game, were swerving on the minds of Pakistani fans is beyond me
  • Above all, it was Kohli’s day as he was unstoppable in front of bowlers like Saeed Ajmal, Umar Gul, Shahid Afridi and even Mohammed Hafeez. Kohli played a brave innings that deserved a victory. His approach to the match was far better than Sachin’s.

So the well-deserved ‘pat-on-the-back’ should go to the Indian team, especially Kohli, but the real question here is: will Pakistan win the final?

Hopefully, having learnt their lesson right before the final, Pakistan will win. They should come up with a better strategy under Whatmore’s aggressive coaching. This time around their batting excelled, but they were unable to defend their score on the field, but fighters like Ajmal, Gul, Afridi, Hafeez and the talent like Cheema can change the face of the game in one spell at any point in the game.

As the skipper properly stated;

“I think our bowling has won us a lot of games. If you look at the performance in the last year and a half, they have done really well. It was a test against India, so such a day was possible.”

Our bowling attack will bounce back at the final and Pakistan will win the cup. Go green!

Read more by Ahmad here.

Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that Sachin Tendulkar was nearing his 100th century in this match.




Ahmad Fuad

A corporate training specialist and motivational speaker. Fuad has also worked as a professional sports journalist for Daily Khabrain and has been writing bi-lingual articles for national and international journals. He played professional cricket at the Under 16 and Under 19 level.

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

  • Sinclair

    Rohait? Is your name Ahmaed Fdua?Recommend

  • Dr. Amyn Malik

    I may be wrong but I don’t think Sachin was anywhere near the 100 run mark in the game against Pakistan as you say.

    And yes, Kohli was just magnificent in the match!Recommend

  • Wajahat Ali Khan

    Those who said “Bas Hum India ko hara dyn beshak Final haar jayen”.

    Mind the today’s match. See the result than come back to Me.

    Come out of Ego and Over-confident fight, know the real happening around you. The games are Scripted just like Movies and have Sponsors just like Movies and just have characters players just like Movies and have Crowd to applause like Jokers just like Movies.

    Enjoy the E.n.t.e.r.t.a.i.n.m.e.n.t. That’s it; expect No More.Recommend

  • Olga

    Those who watched the match and still think its wasn’t scripted were pure naive! Pak players were throwing balls at the boundaries just to help the chase!Recommend

  • Sick of Nonsense

    what’s with the hate for sachin?did u see him bat in tht indo-pak match?Recommend

  • antony

    @olga, So pakistani players were throwing balls at the boundaries for money according to you ?!. So arent you ashamed of your best sportmen selling themselves for money . Also the act of kneeling on the ground and bending over after good 100 runs is also scripted to fool fellow pakistaniyat is it ?Recommend

  • Imtiaz

    Cricket is going to be scripted like WWE soon….!!Recommend

  • Olga

    I am not proud of the team mate or happy with the game… and neither should you be if you are following the great Team India!Recommend

  • Fahim

    His approach to the match was far better than Sachin’s”

    On what basis you suggest so. If I am not wrong Sachin played with lot more freedom and aggression, evident from his timing and shot selection, even all of the commentators noticed that. He scored 52 from 48 balls, where Kohli got his fifty from 54 balls, so I don’t understand how Tendulkars approach was wrong. In fact if you see it was Sachin who started playing aggressive even after first wicket loss (Kohli took more time to settle, evident from strike rate)
    It wasn’t only Kohli (yes he contributed the most) but never forget Sachin and Rohit’s fiftees, it was perfect foundation for Kohli to get big one

    so I can conclude that for some reasons you dont like Sachin or you might have noticed something else.

  • Cynical

    I am with you on this.
    I don’t think the great Pakistani team can be purchased and be involved in match fixing.
    It’s the Indians, specially Virat Kohli who took the money from the bookies to snatch the victory which right fully belongs to the god fearing, pious Pakistani team. Recommend

  • Reddy

    were you on pot while you are writing this piece,”Indian batsmen do not perform under pressure ” but stats say something else,No team has scored over 300 in successful chases on more occasions than India (13).
    do you know the next highest is, 7 by lanka.
    and this is my friend peaks of your self induced coma “Indian batting was underrated and the overconfident Pakistani bowlers” had they given any chance to feel overconfident in the match,your team rightly estimated indian batting strength that’s precisely reason why they included extra bowler at the expense of the Wicket keeper,have you even seen the match to start with. Recommend

  • Reddy

    “There is absolutely no doubt that bookies influence the matches which are being played in South Asia”
    i am completely dumbfounded with your awestruck hot air bubblegum theories and generalizations, may i know how you arrived to those conclusions,last time when i checked ,3 Pakistanis were handed jail terms for their extra curricular activities.Recommend

  • Anoop

    Sachin scored a FIFTY!! Why do you hate the World’s greatest batsmen alive so much?

    He scored a fifty under fifty balls. He was responsible for Riaz getting his rhythm wrong.

    His ‘tuk tuk’ has won many matches for India against Pakistan, most notable among them was the 2003 World Cup match against the greats like Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis; and against Shoaib Akhtar. He single handedly decimated the Pakistani bowling in a pressure match IN THE WORLD CUP and helped India to get to the finals.Recommend

  • manish rohera

    hey sachin is the best! does any person in india or pakistan have achieved so much in a given sport answer is no i won’t say sub-continent as murlidharan has similar feat he is now in the league of immortals just like jesse owens,lance amstrong,phelps etc and kohli is also so much talented and his love for the game is immense An eg:he played a ranji match with karnataka a day after his father’s demise so we are sure by such gestures that our team is a team of integrity its for pakistani’s to decide whether their team is a team of integrity or of moral turpitude Recommend

  • Shoaib

    Tendulkar is great, no doubt. but please don’t compare him with Muralidharan.
    Muralidharan was match winner but Tendulkar plays for his centuries.Recommend

  • manish rohera

    Dear friend only fools compare legends i m not a foolRecommend

  • ABC

    if u want to see the influence of bookies on cricket then pls do watch again the last triangular match between India and Australia…Recommend

  • Hassan

    your points to support that it was not fixed are actually the ones that are being made to support that it was fixed…

    why did misbah take hafeez off if he bowled well?
    why didnt the spinners finish their full quota of overs
    why was wahab riaz (who took the jacket from mazhar majeed with 12,000 pounds in it) included in the line up
    why didnt Pakistan play with determination?
    why was their body language so negative?
    why were misbah’s tactics so negative?

    i believe you have also failed to understand all this…like everyone else who is saying that there was something wrongRecommend