Will ICC investigate the England vs India match?

Published: February 28, 2011
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How did Indian batsmen not bat the whole 50 overs after Tendulkar's century?

I was unable to understand why England was unable to secure a victory against India in the recent Group B World Cup match until I heard the breaking news on TV. Shane Warne’s Twitter prediction, although it reached me late, resolved the whole matter.

Warne wrote on his Twitter account:

warne888 Shane Warne

Looking forward to the game between india and England today should be a cracker… My prediction a tie !

Soon after the match ended, Warne tweeted again:

warne888 Shane Warne

Before u think there was something untoward re prediction of a tie, thought it was going to be a cracker-tie was tongue in cheek-but right

Is it a coincidence that a cricketer – who has previously been involved in match-fixing controversies –  “predicted” an unusual match outcome which then actually materialised? Let’s not forget that he is still playing in the controversial IPL and has good relationships in the land of bookies.

Predictions in cricket are usually about victory or about a close contest, not about a draw. It is not like soccer or hockey where draws are routine. One day cricket matches rarely result in draws, but this is a different case altogether.

India’s batting collapse

After Sachin Tendulkar’s outstanding innings in this match, no one knows what happened to the strong Indian batting line. Why could it not survive for a complete 50 overs?

To me, the reason is that the Indian batting line-up is over-rated by their media and cannot survive when it needs to; they can only perform well in favourable conditions. The same happened yesterday.

Anomalous bowlers

The Indian bowlers hardly fought back. It was strange that they managed to topple the England’s batting line up thanks to Zaheer Khan. Now if it had been Wasim, Waqar, McGrath or Shane Warne, it would have been easier to digest. But Khan is someone who averages around 30 runs per wicket and has never enjoyed the status of being a fast bowler.

Munaf Patel averages 29 runs per wicket and was unable to prevent 14 runs from the tail enders but somehow managed stop two runs on the last ball.

More mysteries

There is a big question mark surrounding Yusuf Pathan’s fumbled save at mid-off and the English batsman not making any attempt of a second run on the last ball.

As someone who has played cricket professionally, I believe there is no cricketer in the world who does not seize the chance to win – even at the cost of his wicket – on the last ball of the match.

A batsman always runs blindly to meet the target, just to take a chance or to confuse the opponent in case there is an expected over-throw or any such miracle.

In my opinion, there is no chance that after the making 338th run, the batsmen are satisfied about leveling scores, especially when winning the game was not difficult. The English batsmen, however, went ahead to congratulate the Indians like nothing had happened.

Was it nerves?

There could be psychological reasons behind England’s inability to defeat India. They were playing in a stadium where the audience was largely pro-India, a crowd that is known to be hostile. Remember the Sri Lanka/India semi final in the 1996 World Cup and Test match between Pakistan and India in 1999 when players had to leave the ground because of rowdy Indian supporters?

But this cannot be the only reason behind England’s astonishing performance; the question is ‘who asked the English batsman not to score a winning run?’

Questions to be answered:

  • Will the ICC investigate this match for corruption?
  • Will the ICC punish cricketers if they are guilty?
  • In the land of bookies, can ICC assure the cricket playing nations that the tournament will remain clean?
  • Will the culprits be saved for the “greater good of the game”

For the latest World Cup updates and opinions visit The Express Tribune Cricket.

ahmad.fuad

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.

  • Syed Samiuddin Ahmad

    Well well well, i’m astonished to see how cute comments are posted here about the innocence of THE INDIAN TEAM, and the whole thing which SHANE tweeted was coincidence. Well my point is, both point of views could be write, if ICC could have an inquiry, the case would be clear. After All, MONEY CANNNN DO MAGIC, and as our respectable indian mates say, GANDA HE PER DHANDA HE YE;)Recommend

  • hussain

    the tribune lost all of my respect for them by allowing this waste of an opinion to be published. The opinion is childish in itself, but the writing is bland as well. Hopefully it is an attempt at sarcasm which no one can pick up… Recommend

  • Cric Lover

    Guys… Money & Power speak bigtime… be it cricket or politics… With the kind of money that BCCI’s got no wonder such poor tournaments happen… They might look great interms of entertainment, glamour etc… but when it comes to actual sport (its missing)…

    ppl who might have played the game will understand. These recent matches of India are jus played for the galleries. Look at the baseless interviews given by Dhoni (like Chawla needs more match practice than ashwin etc) Absurdity to the core…

    They are fed bigtime by the bookies and the sponsors that they are making us fools. Jai Ho..!!Recommend

  • Sheikh Babar

    For all the people out there who are defending the Indian team against the possibility of match0fixing (heaven forbid), then please answer why a known Indian bookie was present in the balcony during the Netherlands vs India match? India batted curiously slow in that match. This guy actually sat in the balcony got tv coverage and made a statement in response to the ICC’s curious prediction of a corruption free worldcup.Recommend

  • Waleed

    @All the Indians: Truth is always bitter my friends,if you can’t digest it then do not read it :)Recommend

  • Hasan

    Ok! Leave alone this tied match, but 267/1 in 40 overs with batting powerplay in hand and 296/10. Needs a bulk of carminatives to digest! Recommend

  • exd4

    I dont think there can be a bigger shame for pak cricket than the fact that a pak minister warns its players not to indulge in match fixing ahead of ind – pak match. cant imagine how much corrupt this pak team is. god save cricket from pakistan.Recommend

  • Ashish (India)

    @Hussnain:

    Best Reply!Recommend