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May 18, 2013

Cricket News Hurl

Fixing old farts

Jarrod Kimber
When roaring at the sky doesn't help you vent, get on Twitter  © BCCI
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There are some things a Jesse Ryder comeback can fix, and some he can't. Jesse can fill your heart with butterflies and lollipops, but he can't stop spot-fixing.

Neither can the ICC, nor the BCCI. Bruce Wayne and Frank Castle couldn't stop it.

The BCCI and ICC aren't police agencies. They don't have a legal right to hack players' phones. They can't shout, "You're under arrest, sugar" or break down a door. They are governing bodies who regulate which umpires stand in which match, and tell batsmen off for the size of their stickers.

The ICC is not Jimmy McNulty and Lester Freamon from The Wire. It writes press releases, organises tournaments and helps umpires with their mobile phone problems. The chances are its officials don't know how to clone a pager, will never feel comfortable bugging an office, and would not handle being undercover all that well.

The only way to really find match-fixing is with stupid players. It's the biggest chance cricket authorities have of finding fixers. Everything else is massively out of their world.

Unless you give the Anti-Corruption and Security Unit photos of text messages between a bookie and a player that included comments like, "Yes, I will spot-fix the 37th over, the go-ahead sign will be me wearing a bow tie and doing a cartwheel in my run, please have the war bonds in my safety deposit box by Tuesday", it's hard for the ASCU to be anything more than a blind hall monitor.

People are, at their core, inherently evil. You don't have to see Andre Nel's follow-through to understand this. And people like things.

So fixing will happen.

The IPL doesn't need to be shut down, any more than Test or county cricket did when they were involved. Cricket just needs to keep accidentally uncovering fixing through third parties or general incompetence. We can all be suspicious at times, but unless they accidentally tweet their fixing, we probably won't have much evidence.

Of course it isn't just the fans who lose out. What about the poor advertisers who have placed their precious brand recognition in the hands of these players? Kent R-O Systems has withdrawn its ads featuring Sreesanth.

Shiv Sena, cricket's favourite political party, has made statements about the IPL fixing case. Now, you could say, "Why?" But don't, just read this.

"T20 may have given fame and money to many new players but it has also opened a new window of gambling and sex racket in the country. The Kauravas in the cricket are destroying an entire generation". That was written an editorial in Saamana, a newspaper owned by the Sena. It added, "Cricket is no longer a gentleman's game and has no connect with patriotism."

Cricket is no longer a gentleman's game, although, considering the laws were formed on betting, it would be safe to say the gentlemen loved a flutter themselves. Ted Pooley missed out on being England's first wicketkeeper because he was in jail in Christchurch after being involved in a fight over a match he was betting on, and umpiring in. Although there is no evidence to say that Pooley was involved in opening a new window of a sex racket.

The PCB, probably not Shiv Sena's favourite team, is doing what it can to stop the players from getting in a fix by employing a vigilance officer for the Champions Trophy. A vigilance officer will say things like, "Don't put that jacket on", "That man doesn't need to know the weather conditions" and "All no-balls should be punished by jail time". There is no human being who couldn't do with a vigilance officer.

The umpires in the IPL were certainly vigilant when Yusuf Pathan was batting, and kicking. Pathan, who had dug out a yorker, was called through for a run and as the ball went straight towards the bowler, he decided to kick it away from Wayne Parnell. "I don't think it was intentional," is what the commentator said while Pathan's foot opened up and dribbled the ball forward, away from the bowler to save himself. Only briefly, because shortly after, Pathan was given out obstructing the field.

Less vigilant, or maybe, who the hell can tell, was the person who needed to get the paperwork done for the new stands at the MA Chidambaram Stadium. The Chennai Corporation sealed three stands in the stadium, saying the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association was yet to get planning permission and building approval. The stands were reopened for a sellout game but are now closed again. Being that Chennai is Mr Srinivasan's personal playground, and his job is construction, it seems like someone is trying to embarrass or bother him.

I'm pleased to announce that Enville Cricket Club's renovations will be going ahead, although club secretary Dave Thomas said, "It has been designed so the lounge can be built at a later date."

A club cricket incident happened in the Bangladesh-Zimbabwe T20 this week. Zimbabwe won the match and their interim coach, Stephen Mangongo, pushed Natsai Mushangwe. Mangongo had asked Mushangwe to give a message to a batsman, but instead found Mushangwe having a meal. Mushwange, who was not eating Nandos, and Mangongo have known each other for years. But there must be a part of Mushwange, a young leggie, who is happy that Mangongo has not been given the role of head coach.

Another person who may not get a role in leadership anytime soon (sorry, David, please don't abuse me) is David Warner. Tweeting from India well after a sensible time of night, Warner attacked cricket writer Robert Crash Craddock for being a jealous p****, talking shit and sucking up asses. Then when Malcolm Conn stepped in, Warner, much like his early innings against Dale Steyn, just kept swinging, telling Conn that no one buys his shit and described him as an old fart and a goose. It seems the one thing the IPL can't fix is an old fart.

Cricket Australia says it is aware of comments made on Warner's Twitter account overnight. "Cricket Australia is attempting to contact Warner and will continue to investigate the matter." I'd hope they are aware, as the comments are still on Warner's Twitter page.

It is not yet known if Warner's nephew has access to his Twitter account.

Warner could have used his time more effectively by listening to the Caribbean Premier League's anthem called "How We Play". According to the official Youtube page, "The innovative mix is sure to spawn a new genre [writer Marlon] Chen calls 'Caribbean Dance' - a mix of Soca, dancehall and techno music." I hope it does, because since "C'mon Aussie C'mon", cricket anthems have been a bit uninspiring.

Someone who is never uninspiring is Victorian Glenn Maxwell. His brilliant late run of form for Mumbai Indians has been as inspiring as any anthem. In one over against Rajasthan Royals he scored over 15 runs on his own. The over was so good, news stations around the world have picked it up and continue to show it.

If you've got anything you think should be in next week's cricket news hurl, email cricketnewshurlatgmail.com or tweet #cricketnewshurl. Kimber combines the best elements of each genre and the result will inevitably make you want to get up and dance.

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