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August 29, 2010

2010: Summer of Pakistan

A final humiliation

Kamran Abbasi
The Pakistan management read the spot-fixing allegations, England v Pakistan, 4th Test, Lord's, August 29, 2010
Is the current PCB administration capable of handling such an explosive issue?  © Getty Images
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Pakistan lost a Test match and a series but they might have lost something more important: their integrity. Has a day of Test cricket ever been played under such a shroud of controversy and potential disaster for a group of cricketers? Once more, an England Test series ends in unwanted allegations and accusations. A country ravaged by war and floods, now faces international humiliation over the conduct of its cricketers.

The spot-fixing crisis is a disaster for Pakistan cricket. The evidence released in the last 24 hours is some of the strongest ever presented about match-fixing. It is a criminal investigation. As a result, some of the brightest talents of Pakistan cricket face the toughest battle of their lives, the battle to save their careers. Pakistan fans will be hoping that the evidence that appears to damn their cricketers on face value does not bear scrutiny.

As we await further revelations or denial of the evidence presented, two issues are imperative. First, the evidence must be thoroughly examined for the sake of the reputations of the individuals involved. Second, if the evidence does confirm that match-fixing or spot-fixing has taken place then Pakistan cricket must not spare anybody who has been involved in any capacity, whether player, manager, board administrator, or bus driver.

Pakistan fans want their team to succeed but they also want it to be clean. If that means a root and branch overhaul of the Pakistan Cricket Board and the cricket team then so be it.

Is the current PCB administration capable of handling such an explosive issue?

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Posted by student scholarships on (September 25, 2010, 20:46 GMT)

Wow this is a great resource.. I’m enjoying it.. good article

Posted by fred on (September 22, 2010, 15:03 GMT)

I feel the comments are a bit tainted against Pakistan. Let us talk about match fixing, not spot fixing. Clearly Wahab Riaz could not have fixed taking all those wickets unless the English batsmen gave it to him. And if he is such a good bowler why is he not playing? Perhaps they will see that he is not that good and the English batsmen gave away their wickets. And he is accused of match fixing? Come on. It is time to use our brains. The ECB is so bent on punishing the no-balls, that made no difference to the game that they overlook the real big problems in the game.

Posted by M KHAN on (September 4, 2010, 23:38 GMT)

If all this cannot be proven meaning PAK players r innocent, then there is lot that this filthy paper needs to answer.Making false accusations at time when country is going through its worst time shows how insensetive this paper is which only cares about money at expense of tarneshing other's reputations and creating scandals. I am thinking what mess this paper have created for themselves now if these allegation cannot be proven.If so they should be sued big time by not only 3 players but whole PAK team and the country itself.they have been taken to courts numerous times in its history and lost litigation majority of times having to pay big sums.their one sided focus on PAK only shows their hostility - if they so claim to be whistle blowers for fixing,knowing that by history other nation's players have in the past been involved, why do they then only project that only PAK is involved in this issue. I do not even think they have come out with strong evidence.Just look at thier past.

Posted by Mohsin Khan on (September 3, 2010, 9:47 GMT)

@ Meety..you make valid points yourself mate.as u said mostly Pakistani cricket fans are suggesting that the three players charged should be punished and i too agree with them but my point is that at least we should wait till the investigation is complete and refrain from branding the players as criminals until proven guilty.furthermore the ICC's CE has just stated that the problem is not believed to be widespread..now this is the core issue that needs to be addressed..after an incident of this magnitude shouldn't the ICC be proactive rather than trying to achieve damage control..or does it believe that all evil prevails within Pakistan..they have escalated this issue as if it has destroyed the whole structure of world cricket yet their actions are only against Pakistan..I have not seen the ICC take any concrete steps to eradicate this menace from the game..it is only efficient in its actions when banning Pakistani players..for spot fixing or any other issue for that matter..

Posted by Vivek on (September 2, 2010, 23:08 GMT)

I think some of my Pakistanis friends are resorting to blaming India for the suspension of three players. I find it quite strange as it doesn't matter what the nationality of the players are, for such an offence they should be suspended. Why none of them claimed for a long time they are innocent, only now they said so. Every official from Pakistan is also using 'innocent till proven guilty'...and not just saying they are completely innocent. It stinks because it seems deep down they know these players are not innocent, but hoping some miracle save them.....As far as India's record is concerned, we banned Ajay Jadeja and Azaharuddin without delay in match fixing cases...but some Pakistani officials are trying to gain sympathy for these players.

Posted by Shafiq Hamid on (September 2, 2010, 22:05 GMT)

Rather than condemn and punish, let's try to understand and repair. What 18-year-old hasn't done something stupid? A single violation should surely not cost him what could be a great career? Let him live his career that has just begun. Also, think about the psychology of this team. They have been from home for months, living in hotels, bored to death, surrounded by bloodsuckers offering them big money. England players, blessed with the stability and riches have rushed to judgment without knowing any of the facts or trying to understand the pressures on the Pak players.

The infrastructure of cricket in Pak has always been dodgy; now it is almost nonexistent. Selection policies are shocking. Captains & players come and go all the time. The life of the Pakistan cricketer can be nasty & brief. No surprise they take the money while they can. They are paid nothing compared to their English, Indian and Australian counterparts.

Posted by Coeurlion on (September 2, 2010, 10:32 GMT)

The police investigation may prove inconclusive, since AFAIK, the NOTW reporter did NOT bet (which is a criminal offence). The police will have a different focus... they'll be looking at any illegality concerning UK gambling laws. So I think the onus will fall on the ICC and ACSU. Even if criminal charges are not laid, I do hope that the investigation gives leads for the ICC to go further... it has to, for the integrity of cricket. Match fixing or 'spot' fixing is a blight to ALL cricket fans and must be pursued to the fullest extent possible, and ANY players involved dealt with harshly. It is sad that Amir has been implicated. 18 years old, so much talent... but remember, NO player is above the game.

Posted by Muhammad Zahid on (September 2, 2010, 10:21 GMT)

What a shame we didn't have the sense and courge as a nation to stand for our rights. The three players drop from the rest of the tour. Here again the Indian power circle in ICC wins again. They wantedto destroy Pak cricket and we as a nation dancing on their beats. Can't we have the patience to wait until the charges proved? I am sure if the same incident happened with the Indian cricket team not only their media and nation supports their team but ICC also come for their resue and hush up the matter uner the carpet. Try to understand it is all money which wins thats why ICC never taken any action on IPL matches. If we can destroy ourself then we don't need any enemies. WAKE UP PAKISTAN.

Posted by vk on (September 2, 2010, 2:19 GMT)

What disappoints me is that some former cricketers have shown a sympathy towards the accused cricketers, particularly Amir. Trying to sympatize with him, saying that he's young and vunerable is an absolute insult to the pakistani nation. Would you sympathize with a "young, naive" soldier who is tempted to trade country secrets for money... Being naive or supremely talented is no defense against criminality. The act just shows a pathetic lack of charachter, lack of respect for his country and the game. Temptation is a universal truth and the meek surrender to it. Why should a country let the meek and disloyal represent its people. I feel betrayed as a fan. Cheats should have no place in the game- as players or as administrators. I hope PCB and ICC see beyond the short term gains these wonderful talents could bring. Exemplary punishments are the call of the moment. SACRIFICE THE INDIVIDUALS, SAVE THE GAME.

Posted by sohail ahmed on (September 1, 2010, 16:43 GMT)

I believe The young Talent like amir should get a chance He should not be ban .

He should be educated, rehabilitate & then only he will emerged as a cricketing Idol

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kamran Abbasi
Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He was the first Asian columnist for Wisden Cricket Monthly and wisden.com. Kamran is the editor of the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. @KamranAbbasi

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