Stories about spot-fixing

Education will be the solution to all our cricketing woes

Education is not just filling the bucket and ticking the boxes. It’s how a person is groomed, his personality developed and the learning ability instilled. It’s easier to teach a well-educated person tricks of the trade because he has developed a habit of picking up things quickly. The mind has been trained to adapt to different situations accordingly. Such qualities determine the development of a cricketer as well and can foretell whether that individual will be successful or not as a person. But that’s not all education does. The strength of decent education goes well beyond the development we just spoke of. It ...

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Did you buy Mohammad Amir’s story?

I want to. I really want to. I want to believe that Mohammad Amir is an innocent 18-year-old boy who was set up by his friend and captain – his fixer. But I can’t. There are a lot of things about Mohammad Amir’s interview that are bothering me. I feel like we are being told a story that is not true. I feel like we, Pakistani cricket fans, are being lied to… again. Since the interview aired, I’ve heard a wide variety of thoughts from the general public and Twitterati. One section feels sorry for the kid and believes that he was truly ...

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A second chance for Amir

For a long time, I was so gutted by what Mohammad Amir did that I felt his crime was unforgivable. He had been with the team for a year; a year of travelling, a lot of learning and a lot of guidance. But I guess the guidance came from all the wrong quarters; Salman Butt was his best friend on the Pakistan cricket team, as he once claimed during the World T20 in the West Indies. And that friendship cost him. Did anyone expect a street-smart character like Amir to be so gullible? Was he so innocent that he just got sucked ...

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Team Pakistan: Back with a bang!

Can anything taste sweeter than victory? If you are a Pakistani fan who has gone through the spot-fixing case, the ensuing talks of banishing Pakistan from world cricket, the semi-final losses in the World T20 and World Cup 2011, clearly not. And what if that victory is against the number one side in the world? It just makes it all the more sweet. It might take a couple of days for this to settle in. Consider this- in 2010, the cricketing world was so irritated with a particular team and the board’s chairman that there were talks of throwing them ...

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Zulqarnain Haider: Cricketer, whistle-blower and hero

At the spot-fixing trial of Mohammad Asif, Salman Butt, and Mohammad Amir, the most startling piece of news came towards the end. According to various reports, the lion’s share of the spot fixing money, distributed by now disgraced sports agent, Mazhar Majeed, went to cricketer Mohmmad Asif. The question immediately begged itself, why did the majority of the money go to one cricketer? BBC’s Gordon Farquhar speculates in his blog: “He said £2,500 went to Amir, £10,000 to Butt, who was looking wretched in the dock at this point, and £65,000 to Asif. Asif? The man who said in his defence the no-ball was ...

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Thanks for winning Team Green!

I still remember the first time I beat my male cousins at a sport they loved and thought only boys could be good at. I was 14-years-old. Just like everyone else in the neighbourhood, I grew up loving cricket. There would be heated debates over cricketer crushes, whom we referred to by their nicknames. We watched entire matches; I think we all lived for those and still do. Pakistanis ardent love of cricket can be seen in every street where the game is played with heated passion. But this is not because every kid playing the game wants to be on the national team one ...

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Spot-fixing: Not even an iota of delight

Covering cricket as a journalist snatches away the innocence and exuberance instilled into one’s life as a fan, in the days preceding the time when you don’t have to pay for tickets anymore or when the very figures you’d yearn to meet and speak to, become your friends. You call each other by name, handshakes don’t have the same value anymore, food and drinks are shared and, perhaps a minor glitch of the job, the holiness of a player tones down to a meek normalcy, an act unimaginable when it all started. You forget that once upon a time, in front ...

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Stop dissing Pakistan cricket

The Salman, Amir and Asif case is over now. The so-called ‘cricket experts’ should know that whatever the trio did was in their personal capacity and nothing was backed by the government or by the people of Pakistan. Hansie Cronje, Azharuddin, Ajay Sharma, Ajay Jadeja, Salim Malik, Ata ur Rehman, Maurice Odumbe, Marlon Samuels, Mark Waugh, Shane Warne, Brian Lara, Aravinda De Silva and Arjuna Ranatunga from different nationalities have also been in close contact with bookies. Few of them have also faced life bans and heavy fines as they were either involved in match/spot fixing or in giving ...

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Tainted trio: Getting what they deserve

No matter how hard Pakistan tries, controversy seems to dog its footsteps. It was a historic day for cricket as a major judgement came forth regarding the spot-fixing scandal.  The verdict: Salman Butt and Muhammad Asif have been sentenced to 30 months and one year in jail respectively, whereas Muhammad Amir, who pleaded guilty, was sentenced to six months. The once loved cricketers were found guilty of conspiracy to cheat and conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments. This is such a massive and unnecessary tragedy that an already depressed nation did not need to suffer. What is even more tragic is that the trio had tremendous ...

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An open letter to Salman Butt

Dear Salman Butt, I started following you from your days in the Under 17s. I still remember how I started loving Slazenger bats with yellow coloured grips, just because I saw you playing with one in an U-17 Asia Cup match back then. I still remember, randomly enough, that Habib Oil Mills sponsored that tournament. I still remember your test debut against Bangladesh at Multan, where you made a quick fire 37 in the second innings. Salman, I still remember your ODI debut against West Indies, where you were out for a duck, caught in the slips. It was a decent delivery by ...

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