I’ll admit it, I never understood the sport of Cricket that much. I’ve watched a few times, and I get the general idea of the game, but have never developed a true love for the sport. That said, every year I make my students here in the United States watch videos to try and better understand the game as part of an international sport class I teach.
The big news which hit the cricket world today was of match fixing (in this case called “spot-fixing”) during the highly prestigious Lord’s Test match against England earlier this summer. Those who were on trial for this match-fixing included Salman Butt (the former Pakistan captain) and Mohammad Asif. Both of these two individuals, along with another bowler for Pakistan are said to have conspired to bowl no-balls during the match. The BBC’s explanation as follows:
Spot-betting involves gamblers staking money on the minutiae of sporting encounters such as the exact timing of the first throw-in during a football match or, as in this case, when a no-ball will be bowled.
All of this started with a tabloid claiming the players took money to deliberately bowl no-balls (a bowl which is illegal in some manner, and results in the awarding of a point to the opposing team) during the match, and ended with both bowlers being found guilty of conspiracy to cheat by a jury earlier today.
Following this, there was lots of talk of this being a good example to young athletes as to why not to cheat, because the consequences can be quite heavy. It is said that the bowlers found guilty today were being leaned on heavily by others to bowl the no-balls on purpose.
And yet, I somehow think this may not change things that greatly in the sport. While young players may see the dangers, there have been similar issues of match-fixing with many sports around the world, and often is the case where we see repeats of similar match-fixing incidents over and over again. Though in the spirit of the game, I do hope things are cleaned up.