After the News of the World uncovered the latest cricket betting scandal, I wonder whether bookmakers should simply cease providing betting markets regarding Pakistani cricket for the foreseeable future.
For those who haven’t already heard, the News of the World met up with a match fixer posing as representatives of a Far East Gambling cartel. After paying the fixer £150,000, they were informed of three intentional no balls to be bowled in the Test against England on Thursday and Friday at Lord’s. The fixer claimed to have seven Pakistani cricketers in his pocket who were accepting payments from bookies and betting syndicates.
Sure enough, the no balls were delivered exactly as promised. The photo below illustrates one of the no balls that were bowled by Amir. He certainly made sure the Umpire would ping him for it!
To make matters worse, the match fixer claimed that the SCG test in January was also rigged. Pakistan lost their last nine wickets for 89 runs to give Australia a sensational victory. This leads one to assume that most of Pakistan’s recent fixtures have involved rigging on some level or another.
With the Pakistani cricketers continuing to play on low salaries (I’ve heard figures of $35,000 per year for some players), you can imagine they will always be tempted to accept funds to deliver on certain actions, especially when such actions involve only one player. Short of banning Pakistani cricket altogether, perhaps bookmakers should be forced to cease accepting wagers on any market concerning the Pakistani team. To send a message to fellow players, I hope that those who are found to have cheated are hit with lengthy bans.