“Match-fixing is not a problem of today but a problem for more than a decade. It’s now clear that the higher officials of the respective Boards or ICC have never taken sterner steps to eradicate this problem. Otherwise, this problem should have recurred and due to the inappropriate management of such a critical issue, the cricketing environment has always remained polluted – fresh air has never been able to enter in modern-day cricket” Writes Faisal Caesar 

 

It had been a moderately hectic day in the hospital. In the ETT room, you don’t get enough rush like the CCU (Coronary Care Unit), Cardiac emergency, or OPD (Out Patient Department). What I actually do after returning home, other than studying for postgraduate medical exams,  is watching cricket matches, reading a piece on cricket, or visiting famous cricket websites. They lessen the day’s stress wonderfully.  But the more I am visiting the cricket websites, the more I am getting upset. Nothing exciting or productive can be found but only a bunch of frustration!

The dark clouds of spot-fixing have overshadowed cricket again.

After a year of hibernation, spot-fixing has roared once again in the cricketing arena. Three Indian cricketers – Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan, and Ajit Chandila have been arrested on allegations of spot-fixing during a match in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL). It’s never a pleasant matter for a cricket lover to watch the careers of young and promising cricketers get jeopardized. I was extremely hurt when I saw Muhammad Amir’s career to drown in the Thames River, the same as I am heavily disgusted and upset to watch a talent like Sreesanth to become a disgrace.

IPL already offers plenty of cash for the cricketers. They why a cricketer will get involved in match-fixing remains a moot question. These cricketers are the tip of an iceberg. The real criminals, perhaps, are always controlling the game from behind the scene with enough shrewdness.

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International cricket is no more a mere game anymore nowadays. It has become a money-making machine – a fertile land for the ugly businessmen to harvest dollars. It’s a good thing that cricket has become a way of living for many cricketers. The introduction of T20 Leagues has certainly added enough financial gains for the cricketers. Even if a cricketer can’t gain access to the national squads, he can also earn his livelihood by playing in these Leagues.

Sounds pretty encouraging, isn’t it?

But too much of anything is never good. The cash invested in these Leagues is mind-blowing and when too much cash flow, the evil Gods enter to take control of our honest minds. Due to the outpouring of an enormous amount of money these Leagues have become the favorite grounds for the evil souls – the bookies to play their evil games.

By reading the newspapers we come to know that spot-fixing is very easy to exploit in these T20 Leagues and cricketers are easily being victimized. In any novel initiative, evils will always follow. But if the human-being wants, the evils can be defeated through honesty. But as a matter of fact, I think, the leaders of the novel initiatives never want to keep the prophets of doom and gloom away. The leaders are acting as the driver of a crazy money train.

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Match-fixing is not a problem of today but a problem for more than a decade. It’s now clear that the higher officials of the respective Boards or ICC have never taken sterner steps to eradicate this problem. Otherwise, this problem should have recurred and due to the inappropriate management of such a critical issue, the cricketing environment has always remained polluted – fresh air has never been able to enter in modern-day cricket!

Not all are a Sachin Tendulkar or Rahul Dravid like mature or sensible, but there exist many naïve and immature souls who easily fall a prey to evil traps. A Board’s focus should not only be taking care of its star players but also those young lads who are highly sensitive and lack the immunity against the disease named match-fixing and spot-fixing.  The Boards should always be more careful towards these sensitive youngsters and should educate them on how to deal with this mysterious world of international cricket.

But have the Boards taken care of their young players properly?

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Either a Sreesanth or Amir is never born as a criminal. They are certainly the victims of a system that offers no honest shelters but are surrounded by smart criminals who rub the young shoulders with a smile, offer friendship, and then start exploiting in the evilest manner. How do these smart criminals get such an upper-hand?

How dare they get the scope to tarnish cricket’s image again and again?

Should I say that they are always given an opportunity to satisfy the unknown big bosses?

Should I say that they are the agents of those big fishes who only care about the cash and not the true spirit of cricket?

Yes? No?

We don’t know the answer. We can only guess. But without guesses how can you find an answer?

We will just see Sreesanth and the other two defaulters getting punished. We will hate them like we showed our anger and hate for the Pakistani trio. The bosses will earn praise and applauds but one day; astonishingly, another Sreesanth or Amir will be found guilty.

Why?

Because the big bosses of smart criminals will still remain active as they will never get caught. As usual, our faith in cricket will get dented.

Can we free cricket from the hands of the cash thirsty souls?

Perhaps many problems will get solved then!