Stories about spot-fixing

Cricket: Most memorable moments of 2010

When you think of a year gone by, one surely thinks of the good, the bad, and the ugly. And, for a Pakistan cricket fan there were plenty of ugly cricket moments during 2010, which many have claimed has been the worst year ever in Pakistan cricket. For now, let’s forget about the bad and the ugly, and let’s just concentrate on the good. The good that we have witnessed on the cricket field. There have been plenty of moments to cherish in the year gone by, and here are my personal Top 10 performances from 2010. 10. Six on debut Pakistan has ...

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Tell cricket fans what’s going on

What is going on in Pakistan cricket? Yes, we all heard that the ICC gave the PCB an ultimatum about cleaning up their act and getting their house in order. But what exactly has the PCB been up to since then? A lot for sure. So why have we, the general public, been kept in the dark? First Kamran Akmal was not selected for the series against South Africa. Initially there was news about an appendicitis operation, but then even when he was fit, and Haider ran away, the senior Akmal was not selected. Akmal himself was unsure about why he was not ...

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Give the girls a chance!

Amidst all the allegations surrounding the men’s national cricket team – the spot-fixing controversy, selections rows, and the general consistency with which they implode, it was a pleasant surprise to see the women’s team win some laurels. Forget the fact that they beat China and Japan, not really the mightiest opposition in cricketing terms, forget the fact that, from what we saw, the cricket seemed to be of a ludicrously pastoral standard (although I would not mind some of the women fielders in place of Imran Farhat in the ODI side) – the fact of the matter is that this ...

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Can the PCB be trusted?

Among the many voices that have been consistently critical of the authorities running cricket in Pakistan is that of legendary captain and all-rounder Imran Khan. His denigration of the Board of Cricket Control in Pakistan (BCCP) went well beyond the usual player-management friction one may expect in sport. In the 1992 version of his autobiography, All Round View, Imran has accused the board of incompetence, nepotism, and outright corruption. The chapter discussing this topic is full of quotable incidents and insights into the visibly bungling authority that is the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). From tales of small-minded board officials trying ...

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Pakistani fans, battered by the bat

The definition of the battered wife syndrome is, “signs and symptoms, such as perceived inability to escape, appearing in women who are physically or mentally abused by a husband or another dominant individual.” This definition may be specific to women, but should be applied to Pakistanis. The abuser being cricket. From early on this year, the ardent cricket fan has been bombarded with humiliating incidents of limited-overs captain Shahid Afridi trying to “hear” by chomping on a ball; a humiliating white wash in Australia and the creepy phenomenon of Shoania plastered all over our TVs because of Shoaib Malik’s strange relations ...

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A little prayer for the Pakistan cricket team

After being trashed and slashed by local and international media any team would have been in low spirits. I don’t know about PCB and its support to our match winning bowlers like Mohammad Aamir. I cannot predict whether or not the ICC will lift the ban from our star players before the World Cup. But it seems now that after a short – unbearable – break, our players are gaining back their confidence. May team Pakistan win this ODI series versus a strong and full of confidence competitor, South Africa.  Only our support will motivate and encourage these players. I have ...

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‘The Zionists did it’ and other conspiracy theories

I’ve heard more conspiracy theories these past couple of weeks than I would like to care for. It seems that the Zionists, Freemasons and Indian spy agency RAW have been collaborating on a series of coordinated strikes on me and my small yet suspiciously detrimental-to-the-future-of-the-world social circle. Conspiracy 1: Did you know that there were four Blackwater (now called Xe but we still like the old name because it sounds more evil) agents on board the doomed Air Blue flight? Presumably they were forcing the pilot to crash into the nearby Kahuta nuclear base but the heroic pilot crashed into the mountains ...

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Does our media have attention deficit disorder?

News stories are like bomb blasts in Pakistan. Stories, like bombs, go off at frequent intervals here. People die every day and those who survive get agitated and display their anger at the lack of security. But then another bomb explodes and everyone forgets about the previous one. It seems the media follows a similar path. The biggest story of the year The media told us that the floods were the most devastating catastrophe to have ever been witnessed by Pakistan. Newspaper headlines shouted that more people had been affected than in the Haiti earthquake, tsunami and the 2005 Pakistan earthquake ...

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Where is Mazhar Majeed?

On Sunday August 29, we were introduced to Mazhar Majeed, thanks to the oh so credible British tabloid, News of the World, as they cooked up and ‘revealed’ the story of the Pakistan cricket team’s involvement in spot fixing. Almost a month after allegations that turned Pakistan cricket upside down, Majeed, the main man or the middle man, is nowhere to be found. A realtor, a sponsorship agent some of Pakistan team members, owner of a football club and an alleged bookmaker as well. Impressive credentials, are they not? Yet, made a fool of. After an undercover reporter from a British tabloid allegedly spoiled Majeed’s bid to make millions on the last Pakistan versus ...

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Cricket, you broke my heart

My cricketing world has broken down – update after update, word by word, every day is worse than the last. Initially I resisted the urge to write about the scandals – and lately I have found myself unable to. Unable to talk about cricket, unable to read the sports pages, unable to accept what happened and digest how we’ve all been duped for so long. Perhaps it was naïve of me to think that fixing was rare – perhaps I shouldn’t have expected others to live up to my personal standards of morality. This episode is both heartbreaking and ...

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