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Fix the fixers

Updated May 21, 2013 07:43pm


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enter image description hereAs more cricket fans come out in the open to register their protest against the Indian Premier League (IPL) spot-fixing scandal, with even a petition registered in the Supreme Court seeking a ban on the remaining matches of the league, the Board of Control for Cricket in India continues with its old practice of passing the buck.

Following a sting operation by a private news channel, ‘India TV’, that showed a group of Indian cricketers allegedly involved in illicit practices in the last edition of the IPL, the BCCI only suspended ‘erring’ players pending preliminary enquiry by a special panel. Five cricketers, T Sudhindra (Deccan Chargers), Mohnish Mishra (Pune Warriors), Shalab Shrivastava and Amit Yadav (both Kings XI Punjab) and Abhinav Bali (Delhi Giants in the now banned Indian Cricket League, ICL) were suspended from all forms of the game.

But was this action enough to act as a deterrent? Not really. Nothing concrete was done to investigate the murky deals and no strict action was taken to set a precedent.

This time too, in the sixth season of the IPL, the BCCI has in a way shrugged off its responsibility by saying it has no control over the bookies. It seems the Indian cricket board is only interested in safeguarding the interests of its cash-rich brand IPL rather than protecting cricket from corrupt practices.

This is however only one aspect of match-fixing and spot-fixing in cricket. The role of the International Cricket Council (ICC) — cricket's governing body — is also questionable on various counts. Its Anti-Corruption and Security Unit [ACSU], meant to keep a check on match-fixing, is a ‘toothless tiger’. The BCCI, the world’s richest cricket board governing the IPL, is also like a ‘dead horse’.

The image of the IPL has been tarnished after the arrest of tainted trio – S Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila – along with a bookie Amit Singh. According to the police, the trio have confessed to spot-fixing as well. It is indeed sad news for cricket enthusiasts who nurture passion for the game. Sadly, we are living in an age where everyone seems to be in great hurry to earn quick fame and quick bucks and the IPL is the epitome of that.

This IPL, it seems, is less about cricket and more about the half-naked dancing cheerleaders, late night parties, tequila hangovers, and of course the off-putting presence of the bollywood stars inside the stadiums.

Not long ago, it was quite fashionable to indulge in Pakistan bashing. The bashing exercise meant that you were awarded a few certificates for free: “liberal, well educated, modern-thinking individual and enlightened person”. If any Pakistani national was charged for rash driving in Dubai, breaking traffic signals in Berlin, crossing the speed limits in Tokyo, fighting inside a London nightclub, or, found drunk on the streets of Damascus after a verbal brawl with a native, we had ready-made arguments from the "enlightened" class: "No wonder the culprit belongs to Pakistan. Their country, I'm sorry, is in a terrible mess. A failed state, you know! It is a safe sanctuary for the Taliban."

After three cricketers from Pakistan, Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif, were found guilty of spot-fixing in England, one more sentence was added to the argument: "Pakistanis even cheat in cricket, that's so pathetic!”

It is certainly not about where people are from. Money entices all. Greed, glory, grandeur and glamour overpower even the wiser heads.

It does not make a difference if someone is from a humble background with less or no education. Sreesanth is a case in point. He comes from Kerela – a state known for its highest literacy rate in India (nearly 94 per cent). Sreesanth was not Pakistan’s Mohammad Amir, who many thought was lured into spot-fixing because of his background, lower socio-economic status and poor educational background.

Let's neither forget nor ignore the history of match-fixing in cricket which is not country-specific: Azhar-ud-Din, Ajay Jadeja, Manoj Prabhakar, H Gibbs, H Williams, M Samuels, Salim Malik, Amir, Asif, Butt, and now add Sreesanth, Chandila and Chavan to the long list.

The million dollar question is whether the ICC has acted tough against the corrupt practices and the players found guilty of bringing the game into disrepute?

Selective fixing of blame is not a panacea. Banning guilty players for life could be the answer. It is time to fix the fixers irrespective of the colour of their skin, nationality, faith and background. ———————————————————————————————————————————————— enter image description here

The writer has served as Editor at Deutsche Welle (Voice of Germany) in Bonn, Germany. Previously, he has contributed features for the BBC. He can be reached at ———————————————————————————————————————————————— The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Author Image

Gowhar Geelani is a Kashmiri journalist.

He tweets @gowhargeelani

The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Comments (59) Closed

HNY13 May 21, 2013 06:59pm

Who said the fixers are not being fixed?

syed salman May 21, 2013 07:19pm

In my opinion, this is a very poorly written blog.

The writer has not given any constructive steps that he feels that the BCCI or ICC should do to curb the menace of spot-fixing? What message does the blogger wish to convey with his message is a mystery to me.

also, i dont understand why "pakistan bashing" has come into the article? what does it have to do with spot-fixing in cricket?

Dawn should select their contributors more carefuly.

Raza May 21, 2013 08:00pm

BCCI should handle this fixing one same way Terrorism is handled by Pakistan.

Md Imran May 21, 2013 09:26pm

Great article ! One would remember even when Salim Malik, Aquib Jawed and others were indicted for match fixing, the bookies were Indian. To save the gentlemens game, PCB should join other cricketing boards and seek a minimum 10 year ban of India and Indian cricketers from all forms of the game.

aabeerz May 21, 2013 10:36pm

Doesn't really make any sense?

Shailendra May 22, 2013 12:59am

Its up to the people - if they can boycott the remaining IPL games - it can teach a lesson to BCCI - don't watch the broadcast / news paper do stop covering the event / no one even visit web site to look at the score - if people boycott one match - the sponsors will no sponsor rest of the matches.

Hara Kiri with Kolaveri May 22, 2013 03:17am

@Md Imran: Can you say Kerry Packer?

ha May 22, 2013 04:57am

A cheat is a cheat...Irrespective of whether it is an Indian, Pakistani, south african or australian..

Deep May 22, 2013 05:02am

@Md Imran: Ya sure, thats the only way you can win a world cup !!! and this world will become standstill and sing Pakistan's national song !!!! You can not control your 14-15 players and you want to control entire outside world ?

Deep May 22, 2013 05:10am

What is new in this article ??? It appears it is written for the sake of it. The players like M Azhruddin, Manoj Parbhakar, Ajay Jadeja or Nayan Mongia never played for India after they were investigated. So it is as good as life-ban. So what is your point ? Cheating in sports, biased umpiring, deleberate underperformance is as old as sport itself. You can not scan every player evenr minute of the game. My belief is that ICC or BCCI or IPL has no vested interest in spot fixing and match fixing as it will loose viewership and income. Now to those who are born to suspect everything I would advice stop watching cricket.

Sachin May 22, 2013 05:22am

The underworld link operating from Pakistan is clear in this case. Shame on them for spoiling such a magnificent tournament.

andy May 22, 2013 05:50am

Seriously, what is this bad article? Friend i don't understand what do you want to say? You seem to represent the class of frustoo bloggers. What do you suggest the BCCI should do? Are you kidding us all? What has this episode to do with Pakistan bashing? MY GUESS....You just wanted to cash on this episode and score some cheap points by INDIA BASHING! IPL is too big to fail!!

Swaraj May 22, 2013 06:55am

@Raza: so basically you are saying hoodwink the international community just like Pak did.

manoj May 22, 2013 09:14am

Gowhar bhai, Your article seems to be written with the same spirit that the IPL is played. You should at least try to get the names of very senior (albeit tainted) cricketers like Mohammad Azharuddin correct when you attempt to write an article on Cricket. Also, living in Germany, you would be better acquainted with what actually defines 'half-naked dancing cheerleaders.' No one's half naked on National TV. Itni fuzul ki badnaami kyon? Waise bhi, the latest press reports show a 52% increase in IPL viewership. Any guesses why?

zia khan May 22, 2013 09:53am

The writer being an Indian, could not himself resist the temptation of bashing Pakistan. Pakistanis also indulge in India bashing and in a situation like this conversation ends with " what do you expect from a slum dog Indian?" In every situation, bookies are from India spoiling inexperienced young boys and are operating with immunity and decide the result of any match. Stern action should be taken against bookies because they are the mother of all evils. Players found guilty should be kicked out for good. Indian Government needs to pass a legislation to cover conduct of bookies and players.

vijay May 22, 2013 10:23am

Who is running the BCCI? Of coarse the politicians. if IPL is banned they are the loosers hence come what may, IPL will not be banned. May be the present rulers of BCCI may go away but the vacansies will be filled by a new set of politicians who will make more money. Please tell me what is the connection between Sharad Pawar and Criicket? If you ask him the meaning of Gully, he will probably say it is a small street.

John May 22, 2013 10:26am

Test Cricket was not banned when Pakistani players were found cheating. Only the erring players were taken to action. Similarly, why should IPL be banned because of a few bad eggs? Bringing the erring players to justice is the right answer. Looks like your pride is hurt whenever a Pakistani is mentioned in bad light.

hamid May 22, 2013 11:51am

@Md Imran: you also know that it's not possible. So chill buddy

Jasmeet Singh May 22, 2013 12:56pm

@Md Imran: if this would have happen....pakistan would have thrown out of the game long time back....

Jasmeet Singh May 22, 2013 12:59pm

@syed salman: Dawn only selects those things which say some thing bad about India....check out the history....not a single got thing written about the neighbour..If the mass media doesnt spread good can u expect the citizen of the country to respect other country....and this goes to media of both the countries....Spread love and respect..and u will get it back....Grow up Dawn..

dks May 22, 2013 01:29pm

Their country (pakistan), I'm sorry, is in a terrible mess. A failed state, you know! It is a safe sanctuary for the Taliban."

IS it not true......Now you have stooped so low in reasoning that you will use math fixing by indian players to exonerate Pakistan .

Parag Shripad May 22, 2013 01:30pm

It's good to see the pakistani coming out of denial mode. I can understand your frustration. Yes, pakistanis are treated like dirt in other countries. It's a pity.

K May 22, 2013 01:42pm

@Md Imran: Pakka Nonsense...with your history you should be banned from this world in all respect.........

Criclover May 22, 2013 02:53pm

This article is more about India vs Pakistan than it is about cheating in cricket. This is not the first time an Indian is involved in match fixing. India never tried to claim high moral ground on this issue. Mr Geelani should have discussed the reasons and remedies. Instead, he totally lost the plot here. As an Indian and as a cricket lover I was sad when I first heard about the latest spot fixing in IPL. But I was sad even when Mohd. Amir was implicated 3 years back. IPL is extremely popular as suggested by the attendance at the cricket stadiums this year. It brings joy to millions and much needed revenues for the thousands who play this sport. Banning it will not fix the problem , exactly the way banning ODIs and Test matches would not fix the problem that exists outside IPL. Fast convictions and harsh punishment , like a 6 year jail sentence could be a deterrent. The players then can evaluate the risk they have at hand against the rewards they reap. It's not worth the hassle. It never is.

Parag Shripad May 22, 2013 03:07pm

@Md Imran: the kind of credibility PCB and pakistan have, they will shy away even trying it.

Parag Shripad May 22, 2013 03:10pm

@Parag Shripad: Can u guess... who should they blame for that??

Kapil Bhardwaj May 22, 2013 03:11pm

@Raza: Dat means "Nothing Doing!"

akram May 22, 2013 04:48pm

It is not just the cricketers who should be punished, the bookies themselves should get severe punishment. but they always seem to get away scott free, ruining lives like that of Mohammed Amir. However like everything else in India, if you have money you can get away with everything even bribery etc.

Zahid Ali May 22, 2013 05:12pm

IPL is the biggest brand in world cricket...It will rule forever..

HNY13 May 22, 2013 07:07pm

@Md Imran: Dear disgruntled Imran....time for your bottle feed. Go to mama

arvind ashish May 22, 2013 07:44pm

@Md Imran: Ha,ha,,,try it.

Shri May 22, 2013 07:49pm

@zia khan: The whole world should pass legislation to protect Pakistan. You can not contol players on your payrolls how can anyone control faceless bookies. And another thing almost every underworld don in India is a Muslim, should the same principle apply to them ?

Singh May 22, 2013 09:19pm

@Parag Shripad: At least they have the courage of accepting the fact. We should have the courage too ... and accept that we are not scared people.

Singh May 22, 2013 09:20pm

@John: i think this is case with you also.....

Singh May 22, 2013 09:21pm

@manoj: Due to half naked dancers........ :-)

Singh May 22, 2013 09:25pm

@syed salman: Buddy, it is difficult for you understand. Go and watch a movie instead of wasting your time in understanding the satire.

raja hindustani May 22, 2013 09:42pm

@Md Imran: I can understand your frustration. Don't worry Ireland & Afgansitan ready to tour Pakistan to play cricket. Cheer now..!!!!! :)

Shubs May 22, 2013 10:36pm

Mr Geelani, this article only reflects your own insecurities. An investigation by Indian police, into an Indian tournament, netted Indian criminals and Indian sportspersons, who are being tried according to Indian law. And yet, all you can cry about is why Pakistan is maligned.

Pakistan's negative image internationally is not because of one reason only. Even if there were no Pakistani match fixers, I'm sorry to say, the image would still remain the same.

Rahul May 22, 2013 11:47pm

@Md Imran: hehe seems so desperate to avenge India.

Asif May 23, 2013 12:29am

@Raza: Isn't that how its being handled!

ali May 23, 2013 03:46am

@Rahul: And India provided the hole for him to poke at

ali May 23, 2013 03:49am

I see one thing here, Most Indians lacking the skills to intellectually indulge in a conversation. Logic is also missing. Does Indian school offer logic? What a sorry state the population has become?

Hrleen May 23, 2013 03:52am

@Md Imran: So if Indian players are caught by Indian authorities India should be blamed...if your players are caught than also others should be blamed ....very funny... keep entertaining my friend..

Ali May 23, 2013 04:07am

"""""@dks & Other Indian Trolls who don't waste an opportunity to insult and despise Pakistan"""""

Stop trolling the Pakistani newspapers and blogs and try to sort your domestic issues first, Poverty, sexual harassment and what not, india has an appalling number of issues to deal with, rather than whining about Pakistan for example: -Corruption which includes Match Fixing (ban BCCI and IPL and all Indian players) -the illegal occupation of Kashmir according to the United nations charter -You have extremists like shiv S -largest Slums in the world -the infamous caste system (untouchables in your society, shudras) -women are not safe even in the capital city, rapists ??? -despite being an emerging economy you have more than 60% of population below the poverty line -large number of armed and violent rebellions in states like Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura -groups like ULFA (United Liberation Front of Assam), Maoists, East India Liberation Front, Tamil LTTE freedom fighters took refuge in the adjoining Tamil Nadu state of India, ---Please visit the link"" for more terrorist organizations in India.

So it is high time when you stop blaming and cursing Pakistan for your troubles.

Pakistan Zindabad

Ali May 23, 2013 04:13am

@Jealous Indians

Please digest the article :D , shows the true face of the corrupt indian leagues

Loner May 23, 2013 04:31am

Bravo - someone has the guts to finally say it publicly. I have been saying for a long time that - whatever Aamir, Asif and Salman Butt did, is wrong, it should not have been done, under any circumstances, But they were not the first ones to do it, are not going to be the last ones to do it. They were just made example of, being from a poor country. The sting in IPL proved my point. This is the first time a bookie has been caught as well. Perhaps the poor guy didn't have any good links. Otherwise the bookies involved with the three Pakistanis in England and the bookies involved with Hansjie Cronjie and the guys mentioned above were never named.

Loner May 23, 2013 04:32am

@Singh: An Indian movie of IPL with half naked dancers?

Satyameva Jayate May 23, 2013 05:40am

"Banning guilty players for life could be the answer. It is time to fix the fixers irrespective of the colour of their skin, nationality, faith and background." - YES.

All Sports Bodies can do is FINE & BAN. They do not have any prosecuting powers to seek JAIL terms for the culprits of FRAUD and UNLAWFUL GAINS. Anger for that needs to be directed towards the investigation and the law and order authorities of the countries. The similarity between Butt Trio and Sreesanth Trio ends at spot-fixing. What followed in both cases is totally different.

** In case of Pak Trio there was a long video for all public to see and examine. The video clearly showed: the fix being agreed to, the money being paid and counted, the fix taking place on live TV, live comments by the commentators. Yet the Pak public, PCB and government shouted, "Innocent till proven Guilty" & "Conspiracy to malign Pakistan". Pak High Commissioner to UK gave all protection and advocacy to the fixers. ICC had to force PCB to suspend the trio. Till today Pakistan government has not taken any legal action against the trio.

** In the IND Trio's case all that the public saw was written words. The public reaction has been "Ban for Life". The trio was immediately arrested and put under remand. IPL and BCCI boht immediately suspended the fixers. The future will surely show the other differences.

got it May 23, 2013 08:29am

@singh then prove it you are not scared people

got it May 23, 2013 08:31am

@raja hindustani we took the fustration out when we visited india recently just chill bro

ahmad May 23, 2013 08:56am

Mr Geelani is an indian educated citizen his views marks his own narrow minded mentality which i don't blame him becaus it's normal where he comes from, i also would like to point out to Dawn News please just don't allow any writer on your platform to express his/her views.

Ali May 23, 2013 10:40am

Guys, CHILL...We cannot blame the whole nation for few players wrong doing. Even the world stood with Md. Aamir case when he was caught in this scandal. Unfortuantly that young lad had to suffer in the end. Similarly Sreeshant did a similar act, and its repsonble for his actions. We should not blame the whole nation because of those acts.

If IPL was a small league, then I dont think players from all around the world will join them. Almost every team has more than 70% of their members from foreign; since they know they can make money. Let the league run, let cricket be played all around the world, and lets enjoy cricket, not someones dumb actions.

I hope cricket returns to pakistan because I really miss seeing some good/young fast bowlers in action..

--A true indian!

Desai May 23, 2013 11:39am

Typical example of a Pakistani living abroad and frustrated with the negative image of Pakistan and instead of trying to make amends or improve the image of Pakistan wants to simply be satisfied if same treatment is given to Indians found guilty. Dear Sir, the world has no specific reason to defame Pakistan as a hobby or because of Islam, its because of the activities of its people that it is defamed. All players found guilty in IPL are going to be banned for life as well as a possible 7 years imprisonment what else do you expect ? Should they shut down IPL just because of these 3 players ? its like saying that if 3 police officers are found corrupt a country should close the entire police department.

mujtuba zaidi May 23, 2013 12:32pm

i think its enough now,ICC must have to direct bcci to take firm actions against ipl for making a gentleman's game into a mess of what insane's call entertainment.moreover if results are not encouraging then each and every player of indian national team and off course their club and league teams must be interrogated by Anti-Corruption and Security Unit of ICC in order to restrict such shameful acts of lusty players in future.

mujtuba zaidi May 23, 2013 12:32pm

i think its enough now,ICC must have to direct bcci to take firm actions against ipl for making a gentleman's game into a mess of what insane's call entertainment.moreover if results are not encouraging then each and every player of indian national team and off course their club and league teams must be interrogated by Anti-Corruption and Security Unit of ICC in order to restrict such shameful acts of lusty players in future.

mujtuba zaidi May 23, 2013 12:34pm

i think its enough now,ICC must have to direct bcci to take firm actions against ipl for making a gentleman's game into a mess of what insane's call entertainment.moreover if results are not encouraging then each and every player of indian national team and off course their club and league teams must be interrogated by Anti-Corruption and Security Unit of ICC in order to restrict such shameful acts of lusty players in future.

zia khan May 23, 2013 01:53pm

@Shri: My dear don't worry Pakistan can defend itself. We have to manage players and bookies. Whatever bookies do, it is translated into gambling and outcome of which is fixed on the basis of spot fixing. Governments have the ability to go after these bookies and players. Those who want this type of corruption to continue have a lame excuse of bookies being invisible. IPL has lost its charm. You do not know your team is genuinely winning or losing. There is no point in watching a match which stands fixed even before the first ball is bowled.

zia khan May 23, 2013 01:58pm

@Parag Shripad: And Indians are worshiped.

Raja May 23, 2013 06:54pm

@md ImranICC or other Cricketing nations do not have balls to ban India for single day, and you are talking about 10 years, keep dreaming my friend.