How Does Corruption Affect Cricket?
There might be no one in south Asia who does not love cricket, where eleven players from two teams on a cricket ground try to prove their omnipotence through batting and bowling within a limited time period. Cricket is an international game and it has more than two billion fans all over the world. International Cricket Council (ICC) governs the sport with 104 member countries. Test, Odi and T20 are the main international formats of cricket where the matter of hindrance is corruption. Corruption is simply defined as the abuse of power by the person or authority for private gain who is elected by others. Corruption is almost everywhere nowadays and even cricket is not out of its reach. Modern day's Cricket is negatively affected in the following three ways: match fixing, home field advantages and unbalanced control.
Match fixing has become the lightest and most common way to undermine cricket, which is also known as spot fixing. According to ESPN’s Cricket info via Pakistan News, “In September 2010 the ICC suspended three Pakistan players - Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt - on allegations of what was later defined as spot-fixing (ESPN cricinfo 2014).” Those three players from Pakistan committed this crime (spot fixing) while playing at England where Pakistan lost the match badly. Slman Butt was the captain in that match who fixed the match with two other players. After the match, ICC investigated the event and they found the evidence using video clips from a hidden camera within the stadium which clearly proved the crime while showing the aggrement among the players and the gambler. According to the law of the ICC, two of the three (Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt) palyers were suspensed forever and Mohammad Amir’s suspension lasted five years. He was one of the yongest and most talented players in the history of cricket. This kind of crime has started to take place a long time ago. A report from NDTV published the following, “The Andhara pradeshn high Court in Thursday, stuck down the life ban imposed on former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin by the Board of Control for Cricket in India(BCCI)12 years ago.the cricketer said he was elated with the decision (NDTV 2012).” Mohammad Azharuddin is considered one of India’s most successful captains in their history who got punished with a lifetime suspension because of the crime of match fixing in December, 2000 while he was playing against South Africa. Anothre report from NDTV published the following, “It is alleged that Azharuddin accepted large sums of money from bookmaker MK Gupta in return for fixing matches (NDTV 2012).” The Board of Control for Cricket in India found Mohammad Azharuddin’s guilty by India’s Central Bureau of Investigation on the basis of testimonies from Bookerkers. Athough he was one of the greatest batsmens ever, BCCI took the life banned decision in order to set an example for future. As a Cricket lover, it is both shocking and hard to deal with this type of corruption happening to one of the games most prestigious players. So, match fixing is an unwanted threat and form of corruption in modern cricket.
It’s incoherent that the match result depends solely on consistent home advantages. This is another way of corruption that has diminished the popularity of cricket. The home team has got the chance to make the pitch for the match and most of the time the home team makes their own pitch. They take the advantage of playing in their home ground. For instance, if a team’s strength spins bowling, they will use spin favorable pitch to cause batsmen trouble. On the other hand, if a team’s strength is batting, they will make batting pitch where the bowlers are helpless. It is reported,
It has been thus for decades. In 1956, when England played Australia at Old Trafford, it boasted perhaps the best spinner in the world at the time, Jim Laker. When the Australians turned up to play, they were against at the dry, underprepared wicket that greeted them. In such conditions, Laker proved unplayable. He duly took 19 Australian wickets for 90 runs, a feat that has never been equaled. Later, the Old Trafford grounds man admitted that he had been coerced into not watering the pitch beforehand by England’s captain; Peter May (Game theory of Sports 2012).
Home advantage is a common and gentlemanly way of corrupting Cricket nowadays. England and Australia always argue over home advantage which sometime violates the ethics of cricket. Whenever England goes to Australia, England loses the match most of the time and it happens opposite when Australia goes to England that is the result of the power of home field advantage. For example, in the beginning of this year, England visited Australia to play five test matches in a series and they lost all of them badly. But, a year ago, Australia visited to play England to play the same test match series where Australia now lost all the matches. There might not be any cricket fan who loves this system of playing cricket, because we spend time and money attending matches to enjoy a competitive match. As a cricket lover, myself and other fans do not want any match where the result will be known before starting the match. As a massive fan of the game, I cherish the opportunity to see an authentic match and find it an atrocity when information is given to the public about corruption where the result has been predetermined or fixed.
Although there are around two billion cricket fans all over the world, it’s a matter of aversion that there is an unbalanced control in the International Cricket Council Board (ICC) which has been leading the game towards the disaster. India is a big name in the cricket world that has a vast role on ICC. Some big fish of ICC are from India who is simply controlling almost the whole cricket world. A report about modern cricket claimed, “The ICC’s governance review committee, heavily influenced by the BCCI (Board of Control of Cricket in India), has proposed changes to the ICC constitution that would pave the way for the ICC president to rule indefinitely, and for two successive presidents to come from the same country (Telegraph news source of UK 2011).” India is known as a dominating country as far as cricket is concerned. A high number of ICC authorities are from India and most of the time, they are not afraid to take decisions for India where fairness is not an issue. For example, T20 world cup 2014 was supposed to take place in Bangladesh, and a large portion of the ICC board was trying to shift that world cup to India despite Bangladesh’s world class program as evidenced by their perfect hosting example and successful plan. Bangladesh’s world class program as evidenced by their perfect hosting example and successful plan. This is a sample of Indian corruption in the ICC and is a perfect example of unbalanced control. Another thing that has shown up recently is known as the “Big three” where among all the countries that are associated with the cricket, only India, England and Australia are going to dominate by the latest law of cricket. According to an article by UK news, “Sweeping changes to the governance of world cricket have been approved at a meeting of the International Cricket Council board, with England, India and Australia handed newly powerful roles at the head of the organization (UK News Source 2014).” Unbalanced control is the worst form of corruption in Cricket history that has been recently passed by ICC. Although there are around ninety five countries all over the world that are associated with cricket, only three of them are going to control the whole cricket world which is clearly unfair fair. These three countries are going to decide the specific teams involved and the appropriate dates and times. A report from UK was published the following, “The Board of Control for Cricket in India, England and Wales Cricket Board and Cricket Australia has been guaranteed three of the five seats on a new executive committee that will carry considerable influence, and three of the five on a revamped financial sub-committee (UK News Source 2014).” India has already committed many unfair things that are simply not expected for cricket and they are going to increase their activities with two other big countries as well. So, the future of cricket is really in doubt as far as unbalanced control is concerned.
In conclusion, people love cricket because they feel passionate about the game. This passion comes from their heart rather than a level of compete against each other which simply drives many athletes crazy. The pejorative nature of corruption has been letting cricket down over a decade. Because of few people’s selfishness, cricket is not as exciting as it had been in the past. But However, the sport’s corruption problems may be solved with hard work and changes .It is about time that players, coaches, fans, and committees we can come together to save our game. We need to show our support for the game of cricket so that cricketers can be return to the true passion of the sport and mirror the feelings of the supporters. This will bring balance to the sport. Modern cricket should not be all about competition and money, rather it’s something else entirely.it is our shared love for the pure sport of cricket.
B.R. (December 4, 2012), Home advantage in Cricket (Game theory of Sports)
Retreieved May 9th, 2014
ESPNcricinfo staff (April 18, 2014). PCB to hold probe over cricketers playing with Kaneria
Retreieved May 9th, 2014.
NDTV Correspondent (November 4, 2012). Match Fixing Charges: Andhra Court Says Life Ban on Azharuddin Illegal (Sports Ndtv from New Delhi).
Retreieved May 9th, 2014.
RORY DOLLARD (February 8, 2014), Death Knell for World Test Championship as England, India and Australia Seize Control of ICC... but Champions Trophy is Reprieved (UK News Source)
Retreieved May 9th, 2014.
Scyld Berry (Jun 2, 2011), Indian Cricket Plots Control of World Game (Telegraph news source of UK)
Retreieved May 9th, 2014