Corruption in cricket

Ex-umpire Holder alleges fixing offer in 1993

ESPNcricinfo staff

May 27, 2013

Comments: 10 | Text size: A | A

Former international umpire John Holder has alleged that he was offered money to manipulate an ODI between Sri Lanka and Pakistan in Sharjah in 1993.

"I was in Sharjah in 1993 for a one-day international series between Sri Lanka, West Indies and Pakistan," Holder told BBC. "I was introduced to a man and offered £10,000 [approx. US$ 15,000] to make sure Sri Lanka batsmen put on a partnership of 85. He told me his syndicate were involved in making money as the game fluctuates. I said 'you've got the wrong person'."

Holder said he had reported the incident at the time. "Players and umpires who get involved in match-fixing have got to realise there's no such thing as easy money. Once you get into that, your career is ruined. I couldn't live my life looking over my shoulder, and I'd always be remembered as a cheat, so I had to say no, and reported it."

The Barbados-born Holder, who had played first-class cricket for Hampshire as a seamer between 1968 and 1972, stood in 11 Tests and 19 ODIs between 1988 and 2001.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Clyde on (May 28, 2013, 15:56 GMT)

If you are in a position to cause perceived trouble to someone (because it is your duty to do so) it is very common to be offered a bribe or threatened by them. The best reaction can be to say, with surprise and good-humouredly, 'Don't be so ridiculous.' Human stupidity is endless and freedom from lightweight and heavyweight standover merchants of all stripes, from business to the bureaucracy to sport, depends on your showing that you don't care a hoot about their money or their threat. Education of players is crucial. If they think they might not be going to be offered bribes and suffer threats they need to be disabused forcefully and immediately. Who of any experience has not been threatened with of, 'You will never play/work again"? I thinking reacting well is both the best reward and the most effective way of stopping corruption, far better than incarceration, which only seems to confirm that the person targetted (and the society) is not strong enough to resist.

Posted by fireballer on (May 27, 2013, 13:27 GMT)

What have cricketing governering bodies done for over 20 years to fix this isue? Sensationalising a few arrests does not "fix" anything. The takers are in administration also, not only players and umpires.

Posted by InsideHedge on (May 27, 2013, 12:56 GMT)

I'd never heard John Holder's voice before the radio interview in question, I found it interesting to hear an Irish accent. I was expecting an English accent with Caribbean overtones.

Posted by boxer44 on (May 27, 2013, 12:47 GMT)

@Kitchiguy I must agree with everything you said. @ John-Price I have the same questions @AndyZaltzmannhair did you not read the part where he said he reported it? in case you didnt know that is the procedure that player/umpires and other cricketiing official have to follow if approached by bookies or other people of questionable character.

Posted by   on (May 27, 2013, 12:43 GMT)

Thanks for clarifying that spickandspan.. Please update this article..

Posted by spickandspan on (May 27, 2013, 12:29 GMT)

Fairly poor reporting, to fill in the actual detail: Holder was asked by Jonathan Agnew on TMS had he ever been approached by a bookie and then Holder related his experiances of the event in Sri Lanka.

He did not come out and make a 20 year old claim as this article makes it seem!

As he said, he reported this at the time, it's not a new claim, he simply responded to a question asked.

Posted by AndyZaltzmannsHair on (May 27, 2013, 11:32 GMT)

Where's he been for the last 20 years??? Did he just wake up a few days ago and remember all this.

Posted by   on (May 27, 2013, 10:00 GMT)

Finally I woke up after 20 long years to tell you'll the Lion king story

Posted by Kitschiguy on (May 27, 2013, 8:27 GMT)

"Barbados-born". It might be pertinent to include his actual nationality to avoid confusion if you think it's at all relevant.

It wasn't an allegation anyway, it was an anedote.

Posted by John-Price on (May 27, 2013, 8:00 GMT)

Who made the introduction? What happened to the report? How was it investigated? Were the police involved and if not, why not?

Comments have now been closed for this article

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