Every sport in this world has some elements that spoil the game in different ways. To be honest, cricket is no stranger to controversy. Many incidents from almost every high-level game between two top teams or a major tournament become the news. But match-fixing is the biggest damp on the gentlemen’s game. It is true that Cricket is a Gentleman’s game but there have been many instances over the years when players were found guilty of being involved in fixing.
Match-fixing in sport is an action or practice of dishonesty by the players on the field which can change the outcome of a match. The players follow a particular instruction by bookies as incredibly profit both the players and the indicators sitting outside.
Betting and match-fixing is no new news in cricket, and with the increased popularity of the sport all over the globe it was certain it was going to happen. Because bookers always look for special opportunities but it is always sad to see players who love the game and still fall for greed. Even some of the young cricketers have shown their promising careers only to make some quick money and eventually, it backfired. Today, we are sharing some top instances of match-fixing that have put a damper on Cricket.
The Hansie Gate
Probably one of the biggest match-fixing scandals in the history of cricket. The year was 2000 when Delhi Police revealed the shady conversations between a bookie named Sanjay Chawla and South African played Hansie Cronje during the series between India and South Africa. The worst part of all this scenario was that Hansie was a beloved South African cricketer and loved by the world fans. However, he lost his respect when he chatted with a well-known member of an Indian betting syndicate.
During the investigation, Cronje denied all the charges of match-fixing but later during an intense cross-examination he broke down and accepted the charges of match-fixing against him. ICC took this incident very seriously as Hansie Cronje faced a complete ban from cricket for a lifetime. But there was a drastic end to his lifetime ban as he died of a plane crash giving rise to many theories as one of them was that someone actually murdered Cronje.
Match-Fixing in IPL(Indian Premier League)
In 2013, franchise cricket was booming all over the cricket world. But the IPL spot-fixing incident shook the cricketing world once again because of the names involved in the fixing. First, Mumbai police arrested actor Vindu Dara Singh and BCCI president, Sreenivasan’s son-in-law Gurunathfor Meiyappan for alleged betting and having links with bookies.
While investigating three players from Rajasthan Royals including Sreesanth, Ankit Chavan, and Ajit Chandila were found guilty of fixing matches in IPL. Sreesanth and Chavan straightaway confessed to being involved in spot-fixing and also revealed that Chandila even tries to get other players involved in the spot-fixing as directed by the bookies.
The IPL Governing Council and BCCI took it very seriously and handed lifetime bans to Sreesanth and Ankit Chavan until recently Sreesanth was allowed to play again as he also registered for IPL 2022 auction. Moreover, it was found out that even the owners of Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals were also involved and knew about the fixing earlier. And that’s why both the teams faced two years ban from the Indian Premier League.
Spot Fixing By Pakistani Cricketers in England
Remember when we mentioned that many young players fell into the trap of spot-fixing and ruined their careers? This incident perfectly describes the particular scenario. In 2010, Pakistan was playing against England. During that time Pakistan’s national cricket team’s players and their captain Salman Butt was busted by a sting operation for taking bribes from a bookie named Mazhar Majeed in return for playing no-balls. Apart from Salman Butt, fast bowler Mohammad Asif and Pakistan’s sensational pace bowler Mohammad Amir.
Even during the game Commentators described the deliveries as an enormous no-ball, a good half a meter over the line. Moreover, in the video, Majeed also predicted that the sixth delivery of the tenth over would be a no-ball by Asif and it also turned out to be true.
Mohammad Azharuddin Saga
Mohammed Azharuddin was a brilliant and also an accomplished captain of the Indian Cricket team during his stint in the 90s. However, he was also accused of match-fixing in 2000 in the same case in which Hansi Cronje was accused. During the investigation, the South African player informed that Azhar introduced him to bookies.
With the help of an intense and detailed investigation, police found him guilty of fixing 3 One Day Internationals. ICC and the BCCI then banned Azharuddin for life. Though the BCCI ban was revoked by the Andhra Pradesh High Court a few years later, the ICC has refused to lift its ban. It’s surely heartbreaking that one of India’s finest cricketers will live the rest of his life under the burden of guilt for some extra money.
Shane Warne-Mark Waugh Spot-Fixing
Another fixing incident involved two greats of cricket, Mark Waugh and Shane Warne. These revelations had the cricketing community in shock and shattered the common belief that such players can be involved. Both Warne and Waugh had claimed that Pakistan batter Saleed Malik had offered them $200,000 to play poorly. But the sad part is that the Australian Cricket Board and the ICC chose to keep it under wraps for close to four years.
Both the players were also paid by bookies to give information about the pitch during the Singer Cup in Sri Lanka in 1994. Another glaring coincidence was that Manoj Prabhakar had said that it was during this tournament that a teammate had offered him money to throw a match against Pakistan.
These are some of the match-fixing incidents that shook the cricketing world. We believe that match-fixing should be totally removed and it can only happen when players stop falling into the trap of these fixers and bookies. We hope you like this blog on match-fixing. Until Next Time, GoodBye!