The International cricket world is riven by scandal today. The News of the World seems to have caught a go between for some members of the Pakistani cricket team accepting money to rig a game. Although I usually would not believe a single thing published in this gutter rag it does appear to be true. £150,000 was given for certain specific things to happen. These things were certain actions to occur at specific balls in specific overs. The things paid for were delivered and the game was rigged.
As I say I'm not a fan of the NoW but this sting was a good use of their money and talents.
As it happens one of the few things I actually know about is world cricket, and it's organisation. But one does not need to be an expert to know that certain parts of it is corrupt. That has been common knowledge for years. This corruption has been linked to the political infighting within international cricket. Basically non-western countries have been fighting to take control of international cricket for years. Even though England is the fixture that makes all the other teams most money, certain other countries wanted to control the cricket. Some of the people behind such a move have been alleged to being linked to betting syndicates. They have also exploited the fact that England, Australia, etc., are terrified of being called racist if they criticise such moves.
So the corruption of some cricketers, and we are not by any means talking about most, is not a shock. For all the faux outrage by some of the cricket establishment, it is not a surprise at all. Like I said, everyone knew about it.
I have read articles justifying the corruption of some of the Pakistani cricket team by pointing out that they are paid very little in comparison to other countries. This is true. But it ignore the fact that they will make most of their money from advertising, etc. They are well paid. More than that, these people are very well paid in comparison to their fellow nationals and are heros to their country. You cannot buy that.
What gets me about people trying to excuse their corruption (I am of course talking about the corrupt and not the uncorrupt members of their team) is how these excusers fail to understand the size and nature of the corruption. Cricketers are not well paid in comparison to other sports people. Say a cricketer was paid £60,000 a year, which is good for cricket. This is a large income for a country like Pakistan.
Do you think that that would stop some people taking a bribe?
They could earn that for one match. If a person is open to corruption it does not matter how much you pay them they can always be bought. There is simply to much money being offered for those players who are corrupt not to be tempted.
So what will happen?
Nothing. The police will be hampered by the presence of Pakistani consulate staff, and their fear of offending minorities to to anything meaningful. The cricket authorities will not do anything bar rhetoric. To many vested interests you see. To many friends of friends.
We'll not get any real reform or strong action. We may get those people caught banned. Though the last time people were caught they were not punished to any serious extent. They may know get life bans, though I kind of doubt it. This will be a shame for the 17 year old kid, but it's his own fault. But that will only be for show, the real corruption will not be tackled as it is too contentious.
And that will damage cricket. That is what happens when you bring politics into sport.
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