Over the last month, the cricketing world has been rocked by one scandal after another, with the Pakistani cricket team and its members having been at the centre of it all.
Match fixing isn’t a new phenomenon in cricket. It has happened before with South African and Indian players being at the forefront on those occasions, people involved were given harsh punishments with life bans handed out to a few.
The game has recovered from those scandals, but what will be really important this time is the procedures that will be put in place to prevent this from happening ever again and gaining the trust of the viewers.
Unless the ICC is able to do that, there will always be a little doubt in peoples mind whenever a catch is put down, a wide or a no-ball bowled or when two players converse on field.
Here are a few things that need to happen according to me to rectify this situation:
- The Pakistan cricket board needs to first accept that there is a fault within their ranks and they need to realize that the world isn’t against them. Cricket needs a flourishing Pakistan team, but one that plays to win fairly.
- Some of the talent that comes out of Pakistan can’t be produced anywhere else and one truly feels privileged to watch them in action. I, for one, watched in awe the performances of young Mohammad Amir, Asif and Umar Gul against Australia and England.
- The Pakistan cricket board then needs to show that they mean business and therefore as they have done in the past with the likes of Salim Malik, they need to punish the guilty with harsh punishments.
- The ICC is running the game and therefore this is the time for them to stand up and be counted. It’s not only Pakistan where the problem is, there is a lot of illegal gambling in India and I am sure that players have been approached, it could be the international players or IPL stars or could even be the domestic cricketers.
- I am not saying that matches have been fixed or that spot fixing has been going on, just that the possibility of it happening in Indian cricket is high and if something isn’t done it’s only a matter of time a player in need of some fast cash takes the wrong route.
- The media need to be thanked for exposing the spot fixing that went on during the Pakistan and England games, but it highlights the fact that the Anti Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) setup by the ICC hasn’t done its job.
- The ACSU was setup in the year 2000 and its objectives were investigation, education, and prevention. So in the 10 years of its existence in my opinion, it has achieved none of its three objectives.
- They say that as part of the education process, players are given details of the ways in which corrupters may seek to 'groom' them from an early age as well as the penalties that exist—not just for fixing all or part of a match, but also for accepting money, benefit, or other reward for the provision of information or failing to disclose the inappropriate conduct of others.
- If this was actually done properly then we wouldn’t be in a situation where we might lose a talent like Mohammad Amir. The ICC would do well to rectify this situation and maybe restructuring the unit completely is the drastic step that needs to be taken.
These are just a few things I think need to happen, let's hope from here on end we don’t have to question a players performance and we don’t lose another great talent for these reasons.