Stories about spot-fixing

Conspiracy 101: So what really happened?

Conspiracy theories are the latest addition to the national diet of Pakistan. Nowadays everything has a conspiracy and if you don’t believe it you are part of the cover-up. I have often wondered where all the theories come from. There was a time when people claimed to have heard the original ‘truth’ from some mysterious source in the government or some rogue intelligence agent. But they are called theories for a reason. A theory is based on assumptions which have not been tested. And these opinion leaders are making theirs up as they go along. Funnily, most theories are pure speculation and have no real credibility while ...

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The humble request of a loyal cricket fan

Dear Pakistan cricket team, I am not a big fan of cricket. I don’t religiously follow cricket matches and series, in fact, I rarely watch sports at all but I am a huge fan of the Pakistani cricket team. I watch cricket, only if one of the teams playing is Pakistan. My heart screams “howzat” when you bowl the opponent out. I jump as high as I can when the ball is hit outside the boundary. I feel I have won when our cricket team wins. When we won the World Twenty20 in 2009, I was crazy proud because I knew ...

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Match-fixing: more than what meets the eye

The match fixing saga has returned yet again. One decade after the ugly Hansie Cronje and Company incident it has been reported that up to seven Pakistan players are involved in match-fixing with pacers Mohammed Amir and Mohammed Asif at the forefront for bowling deliberate no-balls at pre-determined times. The whole controversy centres around the arrest of an alleged match-fixer Mazhar Majeed who has reportedly been arrested from the team hotel. A story in the Sky with questions The piece of news that has shaken the cricket world was broken by News of the World (NOTW). Their website claims it is an international exclusive ...

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Love, donkeys and Pakistani cricket

Following the accusations of suspected match-fixing hurled at Pakistan’s cricket team, a plethora of explanatory theories have been put forth. Some, like the Pakistan Team Manager Yawar Saeed, discount the view that the cricket team is ‘institutionally corrupt’ whilst the more diehard of enthusiasts have instantly suggested that it is merely an Indian-manufactured conspiracy. Furthermore, some – who have been disillusioned by the team’s objectionable conduct – have resorted to leading a procession of donkeys through the streets of Lahore and pelting them with shoes. Of course, there are some, like Veena Malik (Mohammad Asif’s ex-girlfriend) who have capitalized on ...

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‘Give the dog a bad name and hang him’

For those of you who didn’t see Salman Butt and Yawar Saeed get questioned by British journalists, go on YouTube and have a look. Butt looks absolutely terrified; eyes wide open with a pale face and nervous. Why shouldn’t he have been? His manager didn’t trust him enough to let him speak, in case he let the ‘wrong words’ slip out of his mouth. Since the news of the scandal hit and created pandemonium in the international community, apart from Mohammad Aamer’s childhood coach Asif Bajwa, not one official from the PCB or the government has publicly defended the players. ...

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Cricket scandal: Out or not out?

While the immediate reaction to our cricket team’s recently discovered shenanigans is of hate and shame, there are many Pakistanis who believe that it is too soon to judge. To control one’s emotions and wait for more compelling evidence is both admirable and astute. However, what this evidence will be remains to be seen. Everything that has come to light so far may be convincing, but none of it sounds like damning proof that could stick in a court of law. Phones have been confiscated. Mazhar Majeed was an agent and was well within his rights to be calling Pakistani players. In ...

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A sport for gentlemen no more…

I don’t know where to begin from. It hurts when your beloved country features in all kinds of terrible news. As if the ministers’ fake degree scandal, perennial bombings, a deadly aviation disaster, the country’s worst floods and the Sialkot lynching weren’t enough to torment us the serpent of match fixing in cricket has raised its head again. In Pakistan, cricket is the most played and followed sport. It is one way the ordinary man tries to seek happiness. But while the sport was once known as a gentleman’s game sadly, there is nothing gentlemanly about Pakistani cricket anymore. Allegations of ball tampering, and match fixing are nothing new. The last time Pakistan faced such allegations was ...

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Aamer, Asif, how could you?

Pakistan’s cricket players are our heroes. The dream of every young buck lacing his gully is to some day develop an array of pull, cut and various creative cross-bat shots reminiscent of the likes of Saeed Anwar, Inzamamul Haq to name a few – or perhaps bowl as fast as Shoaib Akhtar, as ruthlessly as Waqar Younis and as majestically as Wasim Akram. These cricketers were not merely our sportsmen, they were our heroes. We feted them, loved them, cherished them. We burdened them with providing us an avenue to escape the mundane rut of our everyday lives and garnering pride in Pakistan. Our country has failed itself, and to be fair it’s not ...

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