Showing posts tagged pakistan

Spot fixing: the ICC shows it’s claws

[Asif and Butt] will have to make full confession and show appropriate remorse for their suspended sentences to be waived

The Telegraph newspaper is reporting that Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif will have to confess that they took part in the spot fixing scandal if the suspended parts of their sentences are to be commuted. This is quite significant not only does it make the sentences significantly more harsh than first thought it will keep the story in the news as a reminder that this type of behaviour is not acceptable. The ICC still have a lot to do if they are to stop this from happening again.


Cricketing Justice is Dealt

Pakistan’s tour of England in summer 2010 started so promisingly a potent bowling attack to match any in the world, a lower order full of explosive batting, and a dynamic young captain in Salman Butt who seemed to have not only the usual Pakistani flaw but intellectual confidence. Throughout the test series Amir and Asif posed a real threat to the English batting lineup at times giving Pakistan the edge. While brittle batting meant let down the Pakistani team on the pitch it was the greed and naivety of Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir that would let down not only their team mates but fans of cricket worldwide and bring the game into disrepute. 

The revelations from the News of the World that Amir and Asif had bowled deliberate no balls under direction of their captain and a suitcase full of money rocked world cricket. Every game Pakistan had played was now under suspicion, even events involving other teams were now in question. The bans of five years each with two additional years suspended for Asif and five additional years suspended for Butt are unprecedented and send a clear signal to any other would be corrupt individuals that they will not profit by bringing the game into disrepute.

The involvement of Amir was a particularly bitter pill he has huge talent his fast left arm had tormented the English batting line-up throughout the series and at such a young age had a future full of glory, beauty, and riches. Amir’s part in this scandal is a real sporting tradegy with cricket denied the full fruits of a rare talent; the senior players, the coaching staff and the administrators must hang their heads in shame for letting Amir get drawn in to such a dirty world. As a cricket fan I hope that we see Amir again he still has a lot to give in terms of cricketing entertainment, but the ICC, the PCB and the rest of world cricket must learn from this loss.

We must now see genuine efforts from the ICC to rid the game of corruption and murk. Draconian sentences are not enough there must be education and protection for young players. A firm hand is needed from administrators, coaches and senior players at all levels, the message must be clear that corruption will not be tolerated. The riches of the IPL must be open to all nationalities, the gloomy politics between India and Pakistan and conservative franchises are as much to blame for the temptation of corruption as any administrators in cricket.

Test match finishes

It might come as surprise to England and Australia fans, but you can work up a close test match finish - New Zealand and Pakistan are showing us how. Neither side has had the best run of late, Pakistan’s clearly have lots of issues not least corruption and New Zealand appeared to have forgotten how to win a game of cricket, any game but the have conspired to produce some great entertainment. Pakistan are now batting in their final innings, the Pakistani batsman came out firing but New Zealand came back with three wickets to keep themselves in the game. Pakistan now need 212 more runs to win while New Zealand need seven wickets, the New Zealanders commentating seem to think it’s in the bag for their team. 

It’s not there’s everything to play for Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq are batting this will be the crucial partnership for the Pakistani innings, two experienced batsman who now need to bat long and get the majority of the runs, there’s not much to come. Vettori will hold up one end a constant threat with his spin and guile with Martin and Southee posing a potent threat from the other end. Absorbing stuff, test cricket doesn’t have to include India, Australia or England to be grab the attention.

And for the icing on the cake Jeremy Coney is doing the lunch time analysis for Sky in the UK, cricket always sounds better with Coney!

I received death threats to lose the fourth and fifth one-day internationals against South Africa but I could not compromise the dignity of my country. I would rather flee away than sell out the dignity and respect of my motherland

Pakistani wicket keeper Zulqarnain Haider quits international cricket after his life is threatened if he didn’t fix the fourth and fifth one day internationals against South Africa. What worries me most about this is that Haider felt he had no option but to flee his team, the very place which should be his sanctuary.

This is a far more worrying moment than when Butt, Asif and Amir were found out, in that case the cricketing community could at least point to an element of corruption found out. Haider fled from not only the threats but also his team, what does that say about Pakistan and every international team?

Our dear sport has a cancer of manipulation, corruption and fixing at it’s heart. It’s time this was stamped out.

(Source: Guardian)

Pakistan Pack up

Pakistan have been the most frustrating tourists this summer, at times their cricket can be brilliant and an inspiration to cricket fans everywhere. Unfortunately Pakistan at times played dreadfully, worse they were stupid and naive in their off field dealings. The accusations of cheating levelled at the Pakistani team and their astonishing counter attack against not the media but the England players poisoned the tour. 

The effect on both teams was noticeable, Pakistan were clearly shaken after the accusations of spot fixing at Lords. The performances in the Pakistani Twenty20 fixtures was appalling, it was very disappointing for a team who won the World Cup just over a year a go couldn’t put up any defence at all. England took the momentum into the first two ODI but after Butt’s statement it was clear that England had lost their spirit in the fourth ODI.

For the final game England galvanised themselves, but this wasn’t just about proving themselves as cricketers. It was clear they wanted to punish the Pakistani players and management for a summer that has seen their characters questioned and put them in a position where they didn’t want to take to the field.

The relief was palatable and as a fan of cricket and the England team I was ecstatic that the team that really deserved the victory took it in such style. I’m glad to see the back of Pakistan, associated conspiracies and accusations, usually it is something of a shame that the international season in England is over but all I sense is relief.