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Match-fixing still haunts Pakistan Cricket

Pakistan’s reputation on match-fixing has remained questionable over the years. After the third one day international against England the suspicions echoed yet again. Though dispelled by the ICC, Pakistan is yet to take any solid action against the tainted players.

Waqar Younis had been reluctant in the past over assisting Pakistan to curb match-fixing.

Dave Richardson, chief executive of the International Cricket Council, appears confident the third one-day international between England and Pakistan this week was clean despite reports of irregular betting patterns before the game.

Suspicion was aroused after England were backed as strong favourites to win the game in Sharjah on Wednesday, a rare occurrence when they play in Asia. Pakistan’s performance then drew suspicion as they suffered three run outs and collapsed, losing eight wickets for 75 runs.  

It is understood that after making initial inquiries, the ICC is satisfied at the moment that nothing untoward happened in Sharjah, a venue mired in match-fixing scandal during the 1990s.

“Pakistan players are reporting every approach that seems to come their way. I wouldn’t be too suspicious if I were you. You can’t be absolutely certain that it’s clean, but the signs are good,” Richardson told the BBC.

ICC anti-corruption officers have policed the games in the United Arab Emirates and ejected from grounds spectators suspected of ‘courtsiding’, which involves individuals in constant contact on mobile phones with bookies in India and relaying live information in order to beat the time delay on satellite television images which can be up to 15 seconds behind play.

It is understood that after making initial inquiries, the ICC is satisfied at the moment that nothing untoward happened in Sharjah, a venue mired in match-fixing scandal during the 1990s.

“Pakistan players are reporting every approach that seems to come their way. I wouldn’t be too suspicious if I were you. You can’t be absolutely certain that it’s clean, but the signs are good,” Richardson told the BBC.

ICC anti-corruption officers have policed the games in the United Arab Emirates and ejected from grounds spectators suspected of ‘courtsiding’, which involves individuals in constant contact on mobile phones with bookies in India and relaying live information in order to beat the time delay on satellite television images which can be up to 15 seconds behind play.

 

Pakistan's court had doubted Mushtaque Ahmed over integrity. Players with dubious past are closely engaged with Pakistan Cricket

 

The betting industry shares information with sporting governing bodies and investigators at the ICC and the England & Wales Cricket Board have relied on their expertise in past investigations.

Proving a link between strange betting patterns and actual fixes on the field is extremely difficult and relies on the help of whistle-blowers to provide inside information.

Bookies with even a scrap of inside information can manipulate odds in their favour. Often the ‘courtsiders’ are the first link in the chain which is why ACSU officers constantly scan the crowd, using the help of television broadcasters, to spot any suspicious behaviour.

 

Pakistan has yet to order any formal investigation over the match-fixing in the past, it has rather employed all the cricketers with dubious past at key positions with Pakistan Cricket team. A Pakistani, court as asked these cricketers to be kept away from the board matters. Even Waqar Younis and Mushtaq Ahmed had remained questionable in the past as observed by the court.

Posted on November 22, 2014

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