Fixing in cricket has been an unresolved issue. More than you need the talent to play a sport, you need a character. Every sport must be played with loyalty towards the game as well as the nation or the team being represented. Like any other game, this holds true for cricket as well.
The character becomes even more imperative in cricket for it is known to be a ‘Gentleman’s Game.’ But often we see the instances of match-fixing and other condemnable developments which bring a bad name to the game. Over the years so many cricketers have been awarded bans on charges of fixing.
New Formats, New Breeding Ground for Fixers
The parallel world of match-fixing is not something new in cricket. Fixing in cricket has been a never-ending problem. We have seen some great players being found guilty of match-fixing. These include the likes of Mohammad Azharuddin, Mohammad Amir, Herschelle Gibbs and others. Each of these fixing allegations maligned the game and the respective teams.
Now with shorter formats and new leagues coming up, fixing in cricket is getting even more encouragement. We have seen how it affected the IPL and now with more franchise cricket evolving, the vulnerability of fixing even gets augmented. Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals had to face bans for 2 year each after being alleged for fixing. Now the fixing market has a larger sample space to target and this is what needs to be checked.
There is no business like the match-fixing business
Match-fixing and corruption have unfortunately been an innate part of the culture of cricket. Match-fixing forms a lucrative business which keeps people and players interested. India’s betting market is one of the largest in the world. Here the money actually grows on trees! As per some estimates, the worth of this market is USD 100 bn per annum. With such large influence of money and intimidation by the mafia, the white collared reputation of cricket becomes hard to retain.
The latest revelations on match-fixing
As per a documentary by Al Jazeera on cricket corruption, at least 3 test matches involving the Indian team were fixed in the past 2 years. As per the shocking investigation, these test matches were influenced by the fixers that have close links with Dawood Ibrahim. These include:
- Ind vs Eng Test Match at Chennai played in December 2017.
- Ind vs Aus Test Match at Ranchi played in March 2017.
- And Ind vs Sri Lanka Test Match at Galle in July 2017.
The fixers determined how players would perform at certain points during the fixed test match. During the investigation, the mafia claimed that they can fix 60% to 70% of the matches.
So, it can be easily concluded that fixing in cricket is still a reality and even the top teams may be involved in it. The 18-month investigation by Al Jazeera stated that match-fixing in the present era is more widespread than ever. In such a scenario, to uphold the purity of the game becomes a daunting task. The game of cricket is caught between the temptation for money and the fear of the mafia.
It is time that certain reforms be brought to the game. If this continues then cricket would one day cease to exist as a sport and would only be known as a lucrative business.