Gideon Haigh
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Cricket historian and writer in Melbourne

The age of conspiracy

The tendency to blame external elements for every problem - as seen in Ijaz Butt's recent utterances - can only be countered by making governance more transparent and being serious about conflicts of interest

Gideon Haigh

September 29, 2010

Comments: 81 | Text size: A | A

Haroon Lorgat, Shahid Afridi and Ijaz Butt address the media during the official launch of the ICC World Twenty20 in Karachi, April 15, 2010
The ICC can expect no help from the PCB in its investigations into alleged match-fixing © International Cricket Council
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We're waiting. Doubly so. We've been waiting almost a month to see what the ICC's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit makes of plausible prima facie allegations of venality against three cricketers from Pakistan. And as of last week, we're now also waiting for the promise by Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ijaz Butt to substantiate his claims of "a conspiracy to defraud Pakistan and Pakistan cricket" by naming "the names of the people, the parties and the bodies involved".

The former wait will now be lengthened by the latter, because if it was not obvious before it is clear now that the ICC can expect no assistance from the PCB - on the contrary, its investigations will be resisted at every turn. And although the tendency is to think that nothing is happening, or at least that nothing will happen until some form of announcement, the wait has itself become a story, indicative firstly of cricket's sheer administrative dysfunctionality, and now of its collapse into lurid conspiracy theorising.

The first is no news to anybody, the second less surprising than it ought to be. It's common to say that we are in a vintage era of conspiracism, except that it never really goes away; only the demonologies change. It used to be Rosicrucians, Freemasons and fluoridation; now it's the Illuminati, the Bilderberg group and AIDS, with 9/11 being a controlled demolition on behalf of Dick Cheney and the Skull and Bones, and Lady Di being run off the road by the Duke of Edinburgh in cahoots with the Order of the Solar Temple.

Cricket has a low-level but abiding affection for conspiracies. It reserves a special place for men in smoke-filled rooms - they are called selectors. It used to be said that a good 'un from the north of England might play Test cricket but a good 'un from the south certainly would. It's still said, in Victoria anyway, that playing for New South Wales is a prerequisite of Australian selection. Umpiring decisions are always a fertile area for speculations.

In Pakistan at the moment, however, the scenario is closer to that delineated by Richard Hofstader in his famous essay "The Paranoid Style in American Politics". The paranoid style, he argued, was distinguished not by the seeing of "plots here and there in history" but the perception of "a 'vast' or 'gigantic' conspiracy as the motive force in historical events".

In most countries conspiracy theorising comes from outside the mainstream, and government does its best to damp it down. In Pakistan the government is perhaps the chief propagator. In the matter of spot-fixing, it wasn't long before the first dark hintings from the country's interior minister Rehman Malik. "We want to ascertain if there is any conspiracy against the team or to defame Pakistan," said Malik. "There have been conspiracies against Pakistan in the past. We want to get the facts and get them exonerated."

Nobody could accuse Malik of prejudging the evidence; he wasn't interested in evidence at all. But then, nor was he interested last year after the attack on the Sri Lankan team bus en route to the Gaddafi Stadium: "We suspect a foreign hand behind this incident. The democracy of the country has been undermined, and foreigners are repeatedly attacked to harm the country's image."

 
 
A conspiracy theory that has emerged recently is one that is a thick-headed justification for Indian supremacy: you ran cricket; now we run it, and it's payback time
 
In the last month, numerous stories about Indian perfidy have appeared in the Pakistani press, notably Lahore's Nation ("Is There an Indian Connection?") and Islamabad's Daily Mail ("The Lord's Accusation Another RAW ploy"). Corroborating Churchill's maxim that a lie can be halfway round the world before the truth can get its pants on, the Daily Mail's report that "the News of the World and [the] notorious Indian intelligence agency RAW were the mastermind[s] behind all this planned mess" was actually picked up and run on India's Aaj Tak.

Not that the media has needed to stretch its imagination too far, thanks to Butt, who if he holds a position more than a few days it can only be because he has forgotten to contradict himself. "I don't believe in any conspiracy theory," said Butt first, after meeting ICC president Sharad Pawar in New Delhi on 15 September. "I am a simple businessman and a cricket administrator. I am also a part of the ICC and will stick to its Code of Conduct."

Not for long. Four days later, he was on-message: "There is loud and clear talk in bookie circles that some English players have taken enormous amounts of money to lose the match. No wonder there was such a collapse." Even Shahid Afridi trended in the same direction, moving from saying "sorry to all cricket lovers and all the cricketing nations" to insisting that "the way so many people are joining the bashing of Pakistan cricket shows that a conspiracy is on to finish our cricket."

Yet the first hints of corruption among Pakistan's cricketers this year emerged not in the English media but among PCB officers during the in-camera inquiry into the team's disastrous tour of Australia. Thanks to the video of proceedings screened by Geo Super, we know that the team's leadership was deeply concerned about player underperformance. Coach Intikhab Alam said he had "heard many stories about match-fixing"; likewise Intikhab's deputy Aaqib Javed: "I can't say 100% that there is match-fixing, but I have my strong suspicions." Commenting on his keeper's performance in Sydney, captain Mohammad Yousuf said simply: "Some things are obviously clear. What shall I say?"

By the same token Butt hardly has the field of conspiracy theorising to himself at the moment. Even in England and Australia, hackles rise in a split second. Counties truckling to Lalit Modi? Countries objecting to John Howard? Both were denounced as conspiracies, even if they were they were more straightforwardly instances of toadying, opportunism and self-admiration.

Race is an issue fertile with possible fulminations and accusations. A couple of weeks ago, London's Daily Mail reported that Tillakaratne Dilshan had, apparently by chance, encountered an illegal bookmaker in a nightclub, while also making amply clear in its story that there was "no suggestion of any wrongdoing", and that Sri Lanka Cricket had "followed the ICC's protocol to the letter". Cricket Sri Lanka's florid response made Butt look like the acme of restraint: "It is a foolish attempt to malign a Sri Lankan cricketer without a shred of evidence. It smacks of a white conspiracy… These allegations are indicative of a deep racist bias, besides plain ignorance of the truth."


Mohammad Yousuf and Ricky Ponting at the end of the Test, Australia v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Sydney, 4th day, January 6, 2010
The murmurs about Pakistan's alleged underperformance in Sydney earlier this year first emerged from leaks of proceedings at the Pakistan board's enquiry © Getty Images
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Scratch the surface of South Asian cricket, in fact, and one intriguing low-level conspiracy theory does not take long to emerge: that of "the veto", of which non-white countries complain of having been helpless victims at the ICC until 20 years ago. It refers to the status of England and Australia as Foundation Members at the ICC for the purposes of Rule 4C of the body's old constitution: "Recommendations to member countries are to be made by a majority of full members present and voting and one of which in such a majority should be a Foundation member." It is flourished now as evidence of the existence of a kind of Protocols of the Elders of Lord's. Yet the vast majority of those who do so seem quite unencumbered by any knowledge of the ICC's history.

The real reason for Rule 4C was not to exercise power but to prevent power accumulating, something which for most of the 20th century suited every ICC member, preserving their sovereignty in matters like fixturing, revenue distribution, player discipline and umpire appointments. At some stages, furthermore, England and Australia were as mistrustful of one another as they were of other countries; indeed, after Kerry Packer's irruption on the scene, their administrators were profoundly divided.

The ICC's structure as an adjunct of the Marylebone Cricket Club with concurrent senior officers remained quaintly archaic, but the majority generally ruled, and rational argument usually prevailed. Despite the sympathies of English and Australian administrators, firm agreement on the subcontinent and in the West Indies kept South Africa in deserved isolation; thanks mainly to Pakistan, an elite umpiring panel came into being; thanks to the arguments chiefly of Sri Lanka, the cause of video adjudication advanced.

The only attempt that England and Australia made to invoke Rule 4C seems to have been in July 1984, when India argued for moving the next World Cup to the subcontinent. The invocation failed: the ICC chairman, Marylebone president Arthur Dibbs, despite being a rock-ribbed member of the British establishment, agreed with India that only a simple majority was needed. Perhaps he wasn't in on the conspiracy.

What is fascinating about this conspiracy theory is that it has emerged only quite recently as a thick-headed tu quoque justification for Indian supremacy: you ran cricket; now we run it, and it's payback time. "India has been subservient for 100 years," claimed Lalit Modi, appealing to Indian victimhood. "People are used to dictating terms to us. We're just even-ing the playing field. And if it's our turn to have some glory, so much the better."

Yet the more one looks back on the ICC of the 1980s, the more impressive it seems, because of how productively members collaborated on a host of difficult issues, how reasonably they disagreed, and the overall calibre of administrators like Nur Khan, Allan Rae and NKP Salve. Members certainly coexisted then on terms far more equal than they do now. Today the ICC can't even elect a vice-president without coming apart at the seams.

Furthermore, it's not even a necessary argument. There are a great many sound economic and cultural reasons for India to be the dominant voice in world cricket; the previous existence of Rule 4C isn't among them. Its deployment as a rhetorical ploy proves nothing except the comfort of conspiracies, even those one can claim to have routed.

 
 
The more one looks back on the ICC of the 1980s, the more impressive it seems, because of how productively members collaborated on a host of difficult issues. Today the ICC can't even elect a vice-president without coming apart at the seams
 

Because conspiracies are a splendid consolation to the vanquished and diminished. As David Aaronovitch explains in his excellent guidebook Voodoo Histories: "If it can be proved that there has been a conspiracy which has transformed politics and society, then their defeat is not the product of their own inherent weakness or popularity, let alone their mistakes; it is due to the almost demonic ruthlessness of their enemy." Thus their present popularity in cricket, increasingly divided between haves and have-nots, between the big four countries and the rest, between those inside the gilded Twenty20 circle and those excluded. There is a lot of failure to go round, a lot of blame to be apportioned - and also avoided.

If it is to survive its most recent drift into malpractice, cricket badly needs to break the growing attraction of conspiracism, which always stands in the way of change, perpetuating the status quo by thwarting the trust and honesty integral to reform. Conspiracy theories are fundamentally disempowering: they pardon bad behaviour, with their insistence that invisible forces elsewhere are always indulging in worse; they penalise good behaviour, depicting it as futile in the face of clandestine oppressors.

What can cricket do? One reason for the trend is that cricket's administration has always been too incestuous, too secretive and insufficiently accountable. How cricket reaches crucial decisions of policy is to most fans a mystery, when it is not a matter of indifference - the impression conveyed is often of shoddy politicking, diplomatic expediency and cynical self-interest. Transparency of governance and seriousness about conflicts of interest have therefore never been more imperative.

What the situation also calls for is magnanimity. Psychoanalyst Stephen Grosz has explained conspiracies as defence weapons against indifference, against "the terrible thought that nobody cares about you". Fans in Pakistan have had a great many reasons to brood on that thought in the last three years, as doors to international cricket, then the Indian Premier League, have been closed to them. Even now - perhaps especially now - cricket must find ways of keeping faith with Pakistan's benighted and innocent public. They, especially, cannot wait indefinitely.

Gideon Haigh is a cricket historian and writer

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Posted by karthikfromchennai on (October 1, 2010, 19:08 GMT)

will veena malik apologise like ijaz butt?

Posted by KP_84 on (October 1, 2010, 3:29 GMT)

"ZA77" this is not a matter of national pride. This is an increasingly troubling issue to world cricket: the Pakistan national team, one of the game's biggest assets, is being very poorly managed. When I criticized Haigh's comments on the ICC in my previous post, I was merely contending that it was not relevant to this discussion; but they are valid. However, Lorgat's comments were not out of the blue, like Butt's conspiracy theory about the England players. Butt could only cite some mythical individuals (in "betting circles", wasn't it?) , while Lorgat was responding to accusations by a British tabloid, which had predicted the Pakistan scoring patterns PRIOR TO THE GAME (there's your evidence!). Lorgat actually tried to play down the issue, while Butt was probably just trying to smear England (even though he couldn't have managed the PCB's affairs for this long without Giles Clarke's assistance!) for no other reason than that to provide a convenient diversion of attention for the PCB.

Posted by mujipali on (September 30, 2010, 19:17 GMT)

Conspiracy theories abound when 1.Fans are unable to bear the suspense of ongoing investigations (like Bob Woolmer's death) 2. When there is no transparency in decisions taken by authorities (ICC leads in that regard) and 3. When boards are unwilling to takes responsibility. Conspiracy theories became more fashionable with the success of Dan Brown's books and movies amongst mainstream public and Tv progs like CSI made people think that all it takes is 40 minutes and cool gadgets to solve a crime. When it takes longer than that, people suspect a "foreign hand". So until Conspiracy theories go out of fashion, one will have to learn to ignore them, laugh them off or be a part of this game. Mr.Gideon Haigh cricket players/boards/fans are all behaving like John Nash in the movie 'A Beautiful Mind'. You know they are crazy and they think you are!

Posted by cricketmad on (September 30, 2010, 17:58 GMT)

Gideon, There is a reason why Pakistanis feel aggrieved despite the apparent mountain of evidence. Remember the ball tampering allegations of the 90s because the reverse swing was a mystery to everyone except Waqar and Wasim? By 2005 reverse swing was an art with scientific basis and the "skill" of the English bowlers won them the Ashes. Do you recognise this hypocrisy? If the evidence is so damning why hasnt anyone been charged yet?

Posted by faforce on (September 30, 2010, 15:58 GMT)

Another conspiracy: England players all acted very sensitively when "blamed" for match fixing but one Butt. Meanwhile, Pakistani players were being bashed by not just the English media but English Players?

Oh wait, that wasn't entirely a conspiracy.

Posted by   on (September 30, 2010, 15:08 GMT)

Watch this and decide who was really cheating http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_uOLGFYl1qc&feature=player_embedded

Posted by   on (September 30, 2010, 14:28 GMT)

Lorgat should be kicked of ICC

Posted by Ballukiller05 on (September 30, 2010, 14:04 GMT)

@ Hibs : Epicentre of betting is Karachi not Mumbai. The place where you have hidden Dawood Ibrahim. Moreover Betting is illegal in India unlike western world where you can openly bet.

Posted by K-amps on (September 30, 2010, 12:44 GMT)

@Fatirmalik: '''''''' Applause""""" Gideon, Giddy up and rebutt please...

Posted by poderdubdubdub on (September 30, 2010, 12:09 GMT)

Gideon, your article is fairly fair. I am glad you did not put the blame of all the evils in the universe at the door of Pakistan. Indian domination of the sport is a fact of life, and they can do whatever they would, nobody dare question India. Its the power of India that no one dare speak of investigating Mumbai the real epicentre of all the cricketing corruption in the world.Talking of conspiracy, how come 50 TV cameras always converge on the Pakistani bowlers alone?capturing every minor the slightest of the finger activity? do Pakistani bowlers alone deserve this privelage?

Posted by ZA77 on (September 30, 2010, 12:02 GMT)

DT160 said it is all due to PCB. Can I ask you why Haroon Logart said that Pakistan players were involved in third match, which was fixed. If so where are the proofs and if not so then why he said the same. Who is actual responsible for the creating controveries. Mazhar Majeed got 100% clearance and still our three players were not cleared. When you did not have proofs why you searched the rooms of players. If you have solid proves then why Mazhar Majeed got clearance. Why they are delaying the procedure of clearance of our players. Without any proof, without any allegation, they intentionaly and delibrately dragged our players in controvery which is arranged by British Media. One guy said PCB should grow up, why without any proof, why these people are talking these issues which are not related to them. It means there is double standard in the cricket. When our players did nothing why ECB not playing role in better relationship as it seems it sole responsiblity of PCB ONLY.

Posted by KP_84 on (September 30, 2010, 9:42 GMT)

Gideon, the recurrence of match-fixing in cricket is a result of the maladministration in the Pakistan Cricket Board. There is no indication (other than from Butt, of course) that non-Pakistan players are engaging in match-fixing. The PCB has had an adverse effect on the nation's cricket because of it's lack of accountability (it's chief administrators can only be appointed and fired by the nation's president) and is lead by incompetant Ijaz Butt. Reform of the PCB's structure and processes is really all that is needed to avoid this occurring in the future. To your credit, you started off on topic, but then you strayed onto your pet subjects: the inadequacies of the ICC and the BCCI's adverse impact on the game. In the end, the article was not what it promised to be about. Even more whining about the Howard injustice (you've already done about half a douzen articles on that). Did anyone bring up "Article 4C" in the context of the Pakistan spot-fixing saga? They why talk about it here?

Posted by FatirMalik on (September 30, 2010, 9:24 GMT)

OK, so there are no conspiracies going round, but here are the rules by which the game (not necessarlity on the field) is played: 1) If you do it, you are guilty until proven innocent; 2) If I do it, I am innocent until proven guilty; 3) I can blame you for things that you may or may not have done; 4) If you blame me for things that I may have done, you are in the wrong and I will sue you; 5) If you hit me with a batting pad or have me by the throat, you will be severely punished; 6) If I hit you or have you by the throat, it is a closed matter; 7) I am entitled to take any claims by any rubbishy "newspaper" and launch enquiries about you, suspend you and disgrace you without waiting for the evidence; 8) If you take any information that may come to you from reliable or unreliable sources and make it public, you are an idiot and you will be punished.

You must understand that this is MY GAME and I make the rules - you cannot be better at this game than me.

Posted by rocksalt1 on (September 30, 2010, 8:45 GMT)

CRY BABY CRY! wHEN U GET BACK UR OWN MEDICINE, SURE IT IS MUCH BITTER

Posted by Ballukiller05 on (September 30, 2010, 8:44 GMT)

We Indians demand an unconditional apology from Mr.Gideon/Cricinfo similar to what ECB demanded from Mr.Butt. Or else I will stop reading blogs at Cricinfo. We can not tolerate people bashing BCCI and India for no reason at all...Enough is Enough..

Posted by pakwellwisher on (September 30, 2010, 8:08 GMT)

@TheOnlyEmperor what a fitting reply,well done. Also to add another point there has been an foriegn institutional investment of over 17bn$ two years on the trot. Sounds funny that the world economic powers are willing to invest so much money in an INEFFFICIENT country like India whereas no one is willing to invest even one tenth in an EFFICIENT country like australia.

Posted by kabubaku on (September 30, 2010, 7:41 GMT)

It has got to the point where one doesn't even need to read the whole article from Mr. Haigh. A couple of highlighted lines and the subtitle would reveal the same old tired dribble about how BCCI is EVIL and is killing world cricket. Come up with something new, will you, Gideon? In the mean time, the powers that be at cricinfo, please do yourself a favour and next time read an article before publishing it so that you know if it says anything new or of substance.

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (September 30, 2010, 6:40 GMT)

"Yet the more one looks back on the ICC of the 1980s, the more impressive it seems, because of how productively members collaborated on a host of difficult issues, how reasonably they disagreed...Today the ICC can't even elect a vice-president without coming apart at the seams." Why is it when several countries very reasonably disagree with Australia and say that John Howard is unfit to be the VP, that Australia finds it difficult to swallow the reasonable disagreement? Maybe Aus and Aussies are yet to come to terms that in an evolving, fast modernising, more educated, post-colonial world, more and more countries will have strong opinions and voices and they can't be brushed aside. The world of the 1980s when Eng-Aus-NZ scratched each other's backs is over. This is 2010 in case you haven't noticed and even the queen is not a highly respected word... :P

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (September 30, 2010, 6:23 GMT)

@NorthernTerritorian : You make a point unconnected with cricket about India's inefficiency, filth and migration. It merits response. Let me put things in perspective for you. Australia spews more pollutants into the atmosphere per person than India. So, learn to take care of your flth, inefficiency and lifestyle that goes with it, before looking yonder. And isn't it rich Aussies complain about migration when they have completely overrun the natives and seized control in just 170 years of land which was not their for several millennia? Cricket Australia, whines and makes rich noises about the security situation in India. It need not be pointed out, that the Aussies who come to India are far safer than the Indian students in Australia who get regularly assaulted, robbed, vicitmised, abused and killed. The Aussis are yet to accept that there's even a problem in Oz society - talk of living in denial, so pl don't come here to lecturel Indians that they don't accept Aussi opinion!

Posted by justjonty on (September 30, 2010, 3:28 GMT)

It is articles such as these that have turned sub-continental cricket fans against Mr. Haigh. Does every article require some reference or the other to the BCCI and the Indian domination of the sport? It is not like the BCCI is the darling of the masses but when every article written by Mr. Haigh talks about BCCI as all the ills in the game, we are forced to believe that there is a conspiracy against us!!

Posted by   on (September 29, 2010, 20:11 GMT)

@a1234s If you are a non-Pakistani I would accept it as a tongue in cheek comment.Otherwise Your Excellency may I care to ask what Mughals had to do with modern Pakistan in entirety?

Posted by endofageofaquarius on (September 29, 2010, 18:53 GMT)

Gideon, interesting article. Since you have evoked the issue of conspiracies generally (and not only in the context of cricket) in order to debunk their existence I thought you might be interested in reading a book by a highly respected American journalist by the name of Tim Wiener called The Legacy of Ashes. The book traces the activities of the CIA right up to the 1980s based on declassified papers. Tim Wiener not only establishes the existence of conspiracies but major conspiracies, ones which have changed the course of history of entire nations.

I know its easy to debunk conspiracies as easy it is to believe in their existence but the secret is to arm yourself with plausible credible evidence to support your argument.

Finally, another excellent read on this subject is The Confessionas of an Economic Hitman by A Perkins.

I'd like you to read these two books and then rewrite your article and have it reprinted. I guarantee you will have revised your wordly outlook.

Posted by theabstentious150 on (September 29, 2010, 17:51 GMT)

I just wanna ask you if it wasnt a conspiracy then why did the ICC banned the players without proving them guilty(PCB had dropped their names from the ODI side so there was no such need also)? Mazhar Majeed is also under investigation for bribing players but his football club hasnt got the same treatment from concerned authorities. Why is the English media not criticizing it at all?

Posted by a1234s on (September 29, 2010, 17:20 GMT)

haigh is part of zionist/cia/raw conspiracy to muddle pakistan's great mughal history.. lol...

Posted by vparisa on (September 29, 2010, 16:53 GMT)

"The more one looks back on the ICC of the 1980s, the more impressive it seems, because of how productively members collaborated on a host of difficult issues. Today the ICC can't even elect a vice-president without coming apart at the seams"

Am i the only one or did ICC really come apart. ICC is all good with England hosting Pakistan, Aussie traveling to India and recent CLT 20 event with teams from all countries. I do not understand where it came apart.

ICC voted against Mr Howard. It was purely done in a democratic way. oh Mr Haigh.. you dont understand democracy do you???

Posted by vparisa on (September 29, 2010, 16:34 GMT)

@NorthernTerritorian: why do cricketers all around the world want to come to India and play cricket :). If you find it so bad, why act in movies and commercials in languages that does not make sense to you. Come on..Give India a chance bro..will ya?? With all of its inefficiencies(i am not denying, they are a whole lot) they are doing just well.. as far as people who are staying abroad.. its all for the good... for ex: take out saffas from England team, who do we have??? peace

Posted by Rahulbose on (September 29, 2010, 16:32 GMT)

Was in agreement with your article until the justification of veto rules part. I guess if it was such a good feature, then you must support new veto powers being given to BCCI right?

BTW would have been better if you had mentioned ECB and Alan Stanford controversy even if in passing. How England players wives were giving him lap dances not so long ago. Or perhaps you suffer from selective memory loss.

Its typical of westerners these days to justify colonial times. It was a great time in world history when they ruled no injustice racism or oppression existed then .

Posted by vparisa on (September 29, 2010, 16:26 GMT)

Have you guys ever watched M Night Shyamalan's movies, they follow a pattern and generally have a twist ending. Couple of his movies were highly successful but soon the pattern caught up and Audience were tired and the films flopped. Gideon Haigh's columns follow a very similar pattern. Pick an existing controversy, blabber about it for couple of paragraphs, Talk about how cricket is at its lowest ebb ever and how it was much better in pre 1990's. How BCCI/India rule the cricketing world like a dictator. In all a sensitive non-Asian might cry at the end of his article believing the atrocities of the Asian Bloc against the non Asian Boards. The article wont make sense any more. Everything thats wrong with Cricket starts and ends with India as per Mr Haigh. Mr Haigh will sing all praises for Kerry Packer but denounce Lalit modi( mind you, i dont like Lalit) but Packer and Modi are no different. Hypocrisy at its best!!!!! I feel Sorry for pakistan cricket but we can only wait!!!

Posted by   on (September 29, 2010, 16:04 GMT)

agree with amjad.............................................

Posted by mukund111 on (September 29, 2010, 16:00 GMT)

Accepting your own problems takes a lot of courage and strength of character. Unfortunately the societies in contention here are very far away from attaining that level of maturity, specifically in the fields of politics and administration. Mr Haeigh must be an optimist of the highest order to expect Pakistan to own up their problems when even a developed country like South Africa stood up to Hansie Cronje and did not investigate the way they should've. When it comes to cricket administration,with the burgeoning of the hit and miss leagues, cricket administration can only head downward and it would take a great deal of reform to clean up the game of it's problems, least of all minimize the racist divide. But this article has got it all wrong with respect to glorifying cricket administration in the past , when imperialism was more prevalent in cricket administration than the general society itself

Posted by   on (September 29, 2010, 15:14 GMT)

Aaj Tak is a big load of bs.

Posted by Kaze on (September 29, 2010, 14:55 GMT)

Spot on article, look at all corruption of cricket, it originates from one particular region of this Earth. There are certain people that for whom corruption is a way of life.

Posted by bingohaley on (September 29, 2010, 14:44 GMT)

In the words of Ali G.: Is it 'cos I is black?

Posted by K-amps on (September 29, 2010, 14:40 GMT)

Gideon, it seems to be a conspiracy, that there are absolutely no conspiracies. You are part of that Governmental damping down apparatus. If (apart from defending and glorifying the Brit & Aussie power centers); you had also more effectlively pointed to their faults, abuses, I'd look at the article more objectively. If you had painted India/ Pakistan/ SriLanka in a more balanced manner, the article would have been more palatable.

Yes, the Pakistani's do need to sort out Mr. Butt, but they do not need the rest of us demonizing them or pushing them up the wall. Are the rest of us so faultless?

Speed's and Beefy's (Botham) comments on their expulsion are sickeningly imperial... I am glad they have been relegated to the dustbin's of History.

@Ballukiller: PLease, get of your arrogant horse, quit spreading heated, the cricketing world needs to be united for the sake of fans all over... If India can assume leadership for fostering a united Cricket world, we should all embrace it.

Posted by South_Indian on (September 29, 2010, 14:01 GMT)

Why the hell cant Indians accept Gideon's opinion here?? the West is not blaming India for nothing, its all your inefficiency guys. You should only listen to what your own Indian guys talk about all that is filthy in your system when they leave your wonderful country and live abroad; yet when the same comments come from a Westerner, you cant accept it is it? If all is good in your country, then why do thousands of Indians (including some of you commenting here) are so desperate to migrate to US, UK, Aus and Canada at any cost??

Posted by Gizza on (September 29, 2010, 13:50 GMT)

I'm itching for the Ashes to start! There will be some spicy, controversial stuff going on as there always is in every classic Test series. There might be some argy-bargy between Watson and Broad. Pietersen may get the Gabba crowds going.

Then Gideon will touch on these controversies in his Ashes article. But wait for it! The second half of the article will still be blaming the BCCI and Indians in general about every problem that exists in the modern game. Then he will daydream about Kipling's famous poem.

I can't wait to see the spin he puts on his next article. Forget about Graeme Swann, Gideon looks a good bet to fill the void left by Warne, Kumble and Murali.

Posted by trackwhack on (September 29, 2010, 13:11 GMT)

Incorrectly assumed that level headed cricket writers had put this muppet in his place last time around when he was tom-toming howard. A couple of months in isolation and back he is spewing venom. Even when you try to make a point, you induce flaw in it with your bias. Im still waiting for you to live up to your signature 'Gideon Haigh is a cricket historian and writer'. Write about what happened on the field that make for pleasant reading, leave the judgement to the administrators and the court.

Posted by milepost on (September 29, 2010, 12:44 GMT)

I'm not sure too many people here have understood the article, in which case best say nothing at all. Looking at the comments, it is quite clear to see where the prejudice truly lies. Take a look at yourselves in the mirror cricket fans and don't forget why you love the game because it sounds like most of you have.

Posted by kkrish555 on (September 29, 2010, 12:25 GMT)

leave this nonsese please. Tell in one line or paragraph what you mean.

Posted by mayuri78 on (September 29, 2010, 11:57 GMT)

Thank you, Mr. Gideon, So much for Conspiracy Theories. By the way why don't you request ASCU and Scotland yard to give a verdict to shut up the conspiracy theorists. Any one who is involved in spot fixing should get life time ban. But at least prove something......................or shut up

Posted by Ballukiller05 on (September 29, 2010, 11:51 GMT)

Really Incredible how Mr.Gideon tried to justify veto days. If India/Inidan suffers form colonial hangover...I must say that Australia/Britishers suffer from imperialism woes....They suffer from prejudice...It is wrong to make generalisation but I am sure Mr.Gideon suffers from prejudice speciall whenever any matter related to India is concerned. I do not blame him though...

He drifts on the fringe of many issues no precise comments on the key relevent issues...He is such a pessimist.

I do not want to comment on state of affairs in PCB as I have already commented in my previous piece but I will definately pose a question to Mr.Gideon.... Have you become a pessimist about ICC since the time India has started holding the 'power keys' or since the time India started defeating Australia comprehensively or are you a born pessimist?

Posted by Ballukiller05 on (September 29, 2010, 11:37 GMT)

Involving and blaming India has become a fashion statement for the western world. As far as Pakistani officials go they do not have much choice but to blame India/Afghanistan/Zionist forces to cling on to their chairs. State of affairs of the country is reflected in administartion of PCB. India is far ahead and much better than Pakistan administration and approach wise in Cricket, but that is just cricket. As far as other games are concerned where India stands can be seen by the preprations of CWG. There are Kalmadis who are reminiscent of Ijaz Butt. There are Gills who like Mr.10% think the game of Hockey belongs to thier provess.

India has much to learn from SA, England and Australia specially England and Australia. As far as administration in general is concerned. But people like Mr.Gideon have to leave prejudice aside, as far as administration of cricket is concerned. Emptyheadedness of people like Butt and highheadedness of people lie Gideon has to give way to commonsence.

Posted by dmudge on (September 29, 2010, 11:36 GMT)

Well said, Gideon, thanks.

Posted by pom_basher on (September 29, 2010, 11:31 GMT)

haigh, do you have to drag India into any controversy on the face of the earth?

Posted by Amjad_Bukhari on (September 29, 2010, 11:30 GMT)

Sm points from the article are good and Mr. Butt is not a popular man among Pak Cricket fans, but it also appears that it is matter of a STRONG and WEAK. ECB is strong, ICC strong, Pak not getting any favour from strong BCCI, Bangladesh & SL board r not even standing with PCB. So the cricketers of a weak Board (PCB) can be alleged easily and specially by English media. Unfortunately Pakistan as a nation fighting on many fronts, paying the price of war against terrorism, natural disaster, weak economy, fragile democracy, So evry one can gwet opportunity in throwing mud on Pak in any sector. Why if the allegations are true and were appearing so strong at that time, nothing has been done by scotland yard. Why the matter hanging? Why the ICC has not completed its own investigations on Oval One day. IS THIS ALL FOR THROWING MUD ON PAK. then passage of time and no result. That s all u can do with a WEAK. No cricket fan favors three alleged ones if they r guilty. But Y u r not proving it?

Posted by   on (September 29, 2010, 11:30 GMT)

I consider this a well-written article by a knowledgable and wellread person. Well done! It is true that conspiracy theorism just for the heck of it is bad. Anything is bad if done with the wrong reasons and the wrong intentions. However, history has shown more than once that it has been attempted to show the public a convenient reason for a major occurence, and in that case the conspiracy theories are often true. In Pakistan's case,it seems there are problems EVERYTIME we visit England. Dont try to convince me that our admin is at it EVERYTIME. Not that it has ever been what ud call perfect in these days but nonetheless, its doing it a bit too brown to say its always MERE misadministration. If tabloids target everyone and we're mentioned we can safely say we are targeted as well. So yes, I agree that Ijaz Butt is a jerk, I agree that the PCB has hurt our talented team singlehandedly, I agree conspiracy theorism shouldnt be habitual, but I still say we were targeted by the tabloids.

Posted by emuexport on (September 29, 2010, 10:53 GMT)

@ CricFan78 - are you seriously comparing the western media reporting that a SL player met an illegal bookmaker in a nightclub (and making extremely clear that he was not suspected of ANY wrongdoing) and Ijaz Butt downright accusing the entire English team of matchfixing without a shred of evidence? What a ridiculous analogy!! These kind of pathetic arguments add nothing to what is a serious discussion on an important matter. BTW great article Gideon (as always).

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (September 29, 2010, 10:46 GMT)

C'mon guys! Give Gideon some allowance, he's Aussi after all. We don't want to drive him away from cricinfo and deprive us all of entertainment. That said, the only guys who can compete with the Aussis on going over the top are the Pakistanis - with their "proofs", " elders of zion" and "real fact". :P

Posted by paperpadi on (September 29, 2010, 10:28 GMT)

Giedon probably loses his sleep if he doesn't invoke India in any of his articles. Somehow no matter what the article is about, it has to include "Indian supremacy in cricket"...ROFL dear Geidon.

Posted by Swampy5 on (September 29, 2010, 10:23 GMT)

Great article, very well written. Critics of this article miss the point. Gideon is asking for constructive administration of the games problems, instead of boards falling back on conspiracies theories and justifying their bad and selfish behaviour on how Aus and Eng used the veto. It was insulting to have the veto around before, I'm glad it's gone and may it never come back. But I'm sad to say there's no doubt that administration of the game is at an all-time low and things like cricket scheduling and the match-fixing mess are prime examples of that. Rather than argue about vetos and conspiracy theories, it's time the cricket boards (lead by the No 1 board India - yes they are the leaders and Gideon actually agrees they deserve to be) worked to rid the game of it's problems and improve things. That's what they are there for aren't they, to administer the game effectively, not to save face and try to take advantage of each other?

Posted by outsiders on (September 29, 2010, 10:21 GMT)

I request Gideon Haigh to kindly answer this one for all of us please mate?

" Do you think it's wrong that all the full members have an equal say these days and that England and Australia shoud still have the VETO?"

I am sure you go through the all the comments mate so kindly please do answer this one for us?

thank you

Posted by guru008 on (September 29, 2010, 10:08 GMT)

give me a break. The Pakistani will keep on saying till the end of the world - to provide proof. I dont know which world they live in - absolute denial. for me just one picture speaks a thousand words - Salman butt fielding in mid off and looking at the bowler ( mohd. Amir ) when he is delivering the no - ball. Any sane person who knows cricket knows that fielders always look at the batsmen when ball is bowled! This is a basic - for fielding!If you look at history of Pakistan - they have not solved a single high profile case - whether killing of their leaders , sri lanka players attack - so they are used to cases being swept under the carpet .

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (September 29, 2010, 9:37 GMT)

@ CricFan78 Spot on. I would like to know in what sense ICC worked better in 80's. I still remember how the author cried about indias involvement in Howards rejection. Wasn't that conspiracy? (SA,SL,ZIM rejected first and india had to agree with them. But India had to take the blame as it is the 'super power') Howard and other aussies can call Murali chucker and sledge others but it is within spirit of game. These conspiracy allegations are nothing new to us and i feel it is a bit of overreaction from english cricketers to take legal action. If legal options have to be taken then india has to do it every day.

Posted by   on (September 29, 2010, 9:27 GMT)

Great piece Gideon, you really hit the nail in the head, what more proof does BUTT need, who are they fooling, ICC must come down hard and close the matter fast and throw all those who are involved into oblivion and erase their records, previously thought may be Amir should be treated leniently but no, all of them including the administration and all those who are vehemently living in denial should be ostracized and should not be allowed to come anywhere near cricket ever again.Even the ruling elite have shamelessly fertile imagination and are so irresponsible in their comments, this refers to their envoy to the UK, their Interior Minister.Sir Ian Botham was right ban this country from playing International Cricket.

Posted by Snick_To_Backward_Point on (September 29, 2010, 9:17 GMT)

A very informative and well-written piece. I am beginning to wonder whether we shall ever hear from the PCB about the 3 test players and what they have done to ensure the allegations of match fixing have been considered to the fullest extent. I suspect that, as usual, the PCB will try and sweep the whole episode under the carpet and quietly bring Aamer back some years hence when no-one is looking.

Posted by   on (September 29, 2010, 9:11 GMT)

Think you've misunderstood what's meant by conspiracy theory Acting_Career. Pakistani/ Indian media blaming the other countries intelligence service for their cricket troubles is a conspiracy theory, which is what the article is about. Your "criticism" of the article is, in fact, reinforcing it's point. You maybe have a point about conspiracy theories leading to critical thinking. But, I'm not sure why you brought up, and claimed most believe, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Think that really destroys your argument as we may as well discuss what flavour of cheese the moon is, as debate that. SRT's points are petty and irrelevant. But, congratulations on remembering those tiny slights from 30 years ago. Can't even be bothered responding to Cricfan's points as, yes, you have misread. But, CricFan's point do, to me, seem very Modi-esque and I'm glad Roebuck's put Modi's "100 years" comment in its proper context i.e. an inaccurate, historically revisionist, conspiracy theory

Posted by   on (September 29, 2010, 9:05 GMT)

Think you've misunderstood what's meant by conspiracy theory Acting_Career. Pakistani/ Indian media blaming the other countries intelligence service for their cricket troubles is a conspiracy theory, which is what the article is about. Your "criticism" of the article is, in fact, reinforcing it's point. You maybe have a point about conspiracy theories leading to critical thinking. But, I'm not sure why you brought up, and claimed most believe, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Think that really destroys your argument as we may as well discuss what flavour of cheese the moon is, as debate that. SRT's points are petty and irrelevant. But, congratulations on remembering those tiny slights from 30 years ago. Can't even be bothered responding to Cricfan's points as, yes, you have misread. But, CricFan's point do, to me, seem very Modi-esque and I'm glad Roebuck's put Modi's "100 years" comment in its proper context i.e. an inaccurate, historically revisionist, conspiracy theory

Posted by AJ_Tiger86 on (September 29, 2010, 8:47 GMT)

This is a great article by Gideon. Pakistan should be banned from cricket for 20 years if Ijaj Butt fails to prove his conspiracy theories.

Posted by ahassan on (September 29, 2010, 8:33 GMT)

An article that shows only Pakistan at the wrong end. According to Haigh's theory those who see a foreign hand in terror attacks in their country are at fault. Same theory should hold true for Bombay attacks and 9/11. Thank you Haigh for coreccting the earlier mistakes of others. He should also quote Churchill's saying about lie when it is told about Pakistan in particular and other Asian countries in general.

Posted by evenflow_1990 on (September 29, 2010, 8:28 GMT)

i think gideon has issues.

but this was a brilliant line. "a lie can be halfway round the world before the truth can get its pants on"

Posted by Bilal_Choudry on (September 29, 2010, 8:28 GMT)

George doesnt seem there is much difference between you and Ijaz Butt. You seem to have prejudged that whatever has happened must be because of Pakistan. You also need to wait for the investigations to finish. Howcome you dont want to mention how ACB covered up its own match fixing and kept on playing the two players involved. I have to say i have seen better articles from you this one is a disgrace.

Posted by sri1ram on (September 29, 2010, 8:20 GMT)

Hmmm.. In an attempt at balance, Gideon put out more than he can logically chew. Victimization became an issue only because of unfair and biased standards accorded to non-white players, especially in umpiring. Acting_career - You have good points - But it is childish to equate Pak and Indian media as 2 sides of the same coin. Indian media nowadays mostly thrives on sensationalism, except for a couple of news channels. Pak english media is actually better, going by the standard of dawn, geo etc. BUT, remember that Indian media DOES NOT base it's facts on improbable theories while Pak media has to do it for due to suit the ISI/Army. Indian media does not start frivolous conspiracy theories like attributing ISI to corruption in sporting events, floods as well as water-scarcity etc.

Posted by outsiders on (September 29, 2010, 8:17 GMT)

okay this man has lost the plot... he is actually suggesting we go back to the system they used in the 80's because he geniunlly believes it worked better!!

Posted by Abhimehta on (September 29, 2010, 8:17 GMT)

This has to be one of the best pieces of dancing around and around several issues, pointing fingers and smirking at one's own smugness rather than piece together facts and clearly present an opinion to readers on the core issues. Gideon Haigh again puts himself forward as a dinosaur who would always prefer his cup of tea and scones at the Members enclosure at Lord's. The author should also understand that liberally throwing in pseudo-intellectual theories combined with quotes from historical figures doesn't instantly result in good journalism. Your intellect is unquestionable Mr. Haigh but your reading of the current issues is abysmal. If I am not wrong, there were also liberal references to India's colonial hangover and how Indians use this to feel victimized or to justify wrongdoing. Surely, Mr. Haigh should be consigned to the museums lest Cricinfo's readers decide to consign the website to the bin on the back of such journalism.

Posted by Zigor on (September 29, 2010, 7:34 GMT)

The article is too speculative in nature. As usual, another weak piece by Gideon Haigh ! I don't want to critisize him but I am left with no other option.The whole representation of ideas is very immature to say the least. It's unfortunate.

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (September 29, 2010, 7:29 GMT)

contd...In this context, in the recent controversy, ECB and the ICC just did not do the right thing, especially when 3 players of a touring side, including the captain, were clearly exposed by the media expose. The right thing in this case, was to have sent the whole team packing home and cancelling the tour with immediate effect. Swift action always sends swift and searing signals all around. Had the ECB cancelled the tour on the basis of "misconduct", they would not have been liable to pay any money to the PCB, even if there had been a lawsuit. The ECB didn't show spine. The onus was on it to act. The ICC could have backed the ECB by barring the PCB from any international engagements, till it got its act right and set its house as well as player behaviour in order. Nothing could be more shameful to the game of cricket than the CA, PCB, ICC letting Afridi - captain-get away after biting the ball! If you don't clean away dirt, you get dirty and stink too, so what's so surprising?

Posted by DARKLORD91 on (September 29, 2010, 7:26 GMT)

i would rather tend to agree with the authour because what beats my imagination is why would some one conspire against a team that is what 7th in odi ranking and not much better in tests either and wouldnt the icc get weaker if pakistan was banned and eventually the game died out in pakistan but betwixt all this i would like to remind the pakistani players HAVENT BEEN PROVEN YET but if they are then we know that "every beast is driven to paastures with blows" and to get these players on the right track they need to b punished not by pcb but by THE ICC

Posted by Browndog1968 on (September 29, 2010, 7:25 GMT)

great article Gideon. Glad someone has the courage to say it. Don't worry, the only knockers you will get is from those who wish to point out small indiscressions stretching over one hundred years of administration. In those years of Eng/Aust administration cricket flourished. Now it appears to drag from contoversy to controversy. Then again that's life on the Sub Conintent. Look to the Commonwealth games and the debacle that is becoming and the likely fall out that will follow to get a good gage on how things run on the Sub Cintinent!

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (September 29, 2010, 7:08 GMT)

Cricket is big money and as it gets bigger, dirt will gravitate towards it. That's to be expected and therefore what is called for is a zero-tolerance approach actually practiced and implemented rather than something that adorns the corporate boardroom of the ICC and the various Boards as a mission statement. A zero- tolerance approach to cleaning away dirt and those tainted by it, so that the rest are kept clean. If this calls for banning entire set of players and officials for life, so be it. Let a press conference called and the honors be done. Nothing keeps people clean like the fear of being shamed in public. And then there are Boards that live in perpetual denial, blinkered and with an ostrich head -in-the-sand attitude, refusing to act despite numerous incidents of malaise in their midst . Their membership needs to be withdrawn from the ICC till they clean up. The game needs to be protected and is above all else. PS: The politicians are no better than dirt. Keep them out!

Posted by amit1807kuwait on (September 29, 2010, 6:58 GMT)

Its an article which keeps drifting without communicating its sense of purpose. According to Gideon, ICC functioned much better in 1980s when it was dominated by Aus/Eng. If this does not show the racist bias then nothing else will.

Posted by NISH67 on (September 29, 2010, 6:31 GMT)

A typically one sided review from a person who is of the opinion that the past colonial masters and their cohorts can do no wrong ! I wonder what type of a historian this man claims to be . This is the type of biased journalism that flames the fire and ignites similar radical responses from those accused , mainly the sub continent ! . Gideon haigh pray get a reality check done my friend !

Posted by _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on (September 29, 2010, 6:23 GMT)

There is only ONE thing that needs to be done, reform the ICC. This is the 21st century and mankind in general has progressed both mentally and in social interaction across all groups...time for the ICC to progress along the same lines. Quit the bickering and the selfish desires, cricket is for every1! If cricket does not win, we all lose!

Posted by VipulPatki on (September 29, 2010, 6:15 GMT)

More such articles trying to convince Pakistani public that there isn't any conspiracy to destroy Pakistani cricket and that it's important for the game that cricket blossoms in Pakistan, and the next thing we'll hear is that cricinfo is banned in Pakistan for "spreading wilful lies and for its malicious intentions to mislead Pakistani public". Already some fans there have accused Osman Samiuddin and Kamran Abbasi of pandering to western interests. Some have accused players no less than Sachin and Murali of fixing matches. One has even accused BCCI of fixing matches so that India WINS most of the time when it has only amiable trundlers posing as opening bowlers!!

Posted by Meety on (September 29, 2010, 6:09 GMT)

Thought provoking article. I particularly agree with "How cricket reaches crucial decisions of policy is to most fans a mystery" - there is no transparancy in decisions made, particularly on Howard. @Acting_career - I think you are going to script as per the above article re:"he is unable to resume his normal life until he see Pakistani players behind the bar". @CricFan78 - there is hypocrisy but not in the article but some of the persons named. Why would SL have to go on the defence over the Dilshan incident? The article actually painted SL cricket in a good light. It has been reported that several Oz players recently encountered suspect persons - Cricket Oz didn't go on the offense. @SRT_Jammy_Dada_VVS_and_Anil_legends - the MCC use to send 2nd string sides to Oz & make Oz field 22 players because they weren't good enough - so perhaps respect needed to be earned before the tradition of the Ashes sprang to life?

Posted by   on (September 29, 2010, 6:06 GMT)

Dear author, I donno how to react to this article. This article is too long and to me, has an abrupt conclusion. I do agree with you regarding Butt's statement, and feel for Pak's fans who may be victims to one person's stupidity. We have (or rather had) a similar joker in Mode, who thought he owned IPL, but ended up being kicked out of what he thinks he owned. I hope Butt ends up with a similar spate. That would be the best thing to happen to world cricket.

Regards, DSK.

Posted by   on (September 29, 2010, 5:55 GMT)

You can't stop criticising India & BCCI in every article you write even if its not related. You cannot digest the fact that India is running cricket. So you take it out on us all the time. Well, wake up Mr Haigh...

Posted by   on (September 29, 2010, 5:44 GMT)

Very nice article. I agree that the evidence against the 3 players is very compelling and as a Pakistani cricket fan I can say that I want the truth and I want it quick. The delay is not aiding the ICC or Pakistan cricket because it just gives rise to rumours and innuendo.

Complete your investigation and punish the guilty but don't let it hang like it is right now.

Posted by SRT_Jammy_Dada_VVS_and_Anil_legends on (September 29, 2010, 5:38 GMT)

Gideon conveniently fails to mention how for years the MCC, with a total lack of respect, sent a 2nd-string side to India because they believed they would win easily and also to 'protect' their first-choice players. Additionally the refusal of Gavaskar's entry into Lords by the MCC gatekepper, and the refusal of the TCCB to allocate the BCCI tickets to the 1983 World Cup final paint a slightly different picture to Gideon's rosy view of co-operation.

Posted by CricFan78 on (September 29, 2010, 4:55 GMT)

If I read rightly Gideon is trying to defend Aus and Eng veto power days? If I read rightly Gideon is claiming that ICC worked better in 80s? If I read rightly when south Asian cricket complains its called victim-hood but when England and Australia complains its power mongering by India? If I read rightly its ok for western media to thrown in SL names without any evidence but not ok for PCB Chairman to throw in English names without any evidence? You have to wonder at author's hypocrisy

Posted by Acting_Career on (September 29, 2010, 3:53 GMT)

One of the worst piece of journalism I read on Cricinfo lately. It seems like Gideon has too much time on his hand to inflame issues. Probably, he is unable to resume his normal life until he see Pakistani players behind the bar. He is totally unaware of how Indian and Pakistani media react and align every ill to ISI and RAW. Tit for tat is very common and one must take it with grain of salt. Conspiracy theories are catalyst of critical thinking. Should we just believe in a story ran by Tabloid or there should be some talk and research on cause and effect? For example there are more people who think Protocols of the Elders of Zion is not a conspiracy theory but a real fact. Should not we debate on it?

Posted by Acting_Career on (September 29, 2010, 3:43 GMT)

One of the worst piece of journalism I read on Cricinfo lately. It seems like Gideon has too much time on his hand to inflame issues. Probably, he is unable to resume his normal life until he see Pakistani players behind the bar. He is totally unaware of how Indian and Pakistani media react and align every ill to ISI and RAW. Tit for tat is very common and one must take it with grain of salt. Conspiracy theories are catalyst of critical thinking. Should we just believe in a story ran by Tabloid or there should be some talk and research on cause and effect? For example there are more people who think Protocols of the Elders of Zion is not a conspiracy theory but a real fact. Should not we debate on it?

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Gideon HaighClose
Gideon Haigh Born in London of a Yorkshire father, raised in Australia by a Tasmanian mother, Gideon Haigh lives in Melbourne with a cat, Trumper. He has written 19 books and edited a further seven. He is also a life member and perennial vice-president of the South Yarra CC.

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