A note of thanks to Sreesanth, Ankit Chawan, Ajit Chandila, Amit Yadav and Abinav Bali. Here I would not have been writing this article if the controversies didn’t rise up in this IPL season. The insiders of Mumbai and Delhi police hint that still many more are involved in spot fixing. I questioned myself: Whether Cricket is the only game that involves fixing? Answer to this question would be definitely ‘NO’. Fixing of games occurred in the heyday of ancient Greek civilization where the First Olympics where held. Then why are games fixed? Mainly to change the outcome of the game in favor of bettors, therefore they do wish to offer some money to the players of the opponent team. Other reason could be mutual dislike among the team members towards the captain or any other authority of the team. Is cricket the game which involved most match fixing incidents? Huh, Cricket lost in this category to Football which is also the most famous sport in the world. Comparing match fixing involved in various sport across the world, we can come to a conclusion that “Popularity of the game is directly proportional to the number of Match fixing cases involved”. For example, Football which has the largest fan base in the world also hold the record for most match fixing cases. Similar case is applicable to Cricket. Now we are sure that cricket is not the only game involves fixing and India is not the only country for bettors.
When was I about to start the article, I was in a confused state. On what basis should I rank the cricketers who were involved in fixing? There are many factors such as the amount they received for fixing the match, the post and years of experience they hold before they were suspended from the game or the length of ban. The first two factors may result in a tie or not be revealed. Therefore I opted for the third factor ‘Length of Ban’. And this is a more transparent thing. Here I am going to present you the top ten famous cricketers who involved in fixing in the order of number of years they were banned from cricket.
10. SALIM MALIK:
One of the former captains of Pakistan Cricket team and notable player of the game till the betting allegations rose up. He held a memorable innings for his country. After scandal aroused, everything changed. He was accused of taking bribe from a bookie and was handed a life ban. But he claimed innocence from the beginning .Only later it was found to be true. The life time ban imposed on him was removed. But then he never wished to join the sport. He also hold the record of the first ever cricketer to arrested for spot fixing.
9. HERSCHELLE GIBBS, HENRY WILLIAMS:
They were arrested for the betting case against India held at Nagpur in the year of 2000. Initially Herschelle Gibbs agreed to score less than 20 runs in ODI. Since he couldn’t convince himself, he scored 74 runs off 53 balls. Similar was the case with Henry Williams. Initially, he agreed to concede more runs in the overs bowled by him. Later he was not able to keep up his word because of his bruise injury. Therefore both of them were banned only for six months. While Herschelle Gibbs made a re-entry in to the South African Cricket team and established himself as a player of high rank, Henry Williams never returned to play.
8. MARLON SAMUELS:
West Indies cricket player was accused of leaking information about the team and its tactics to the bookies in the match played against India in the year of 2007. Hence International Cricket Council (ICC) ordered a probe. At the end of the probe, player was found to be guilty and restricted him from playing the sport for two years. But he claimed innocence throughout the period. At the end of two years, he joined Jamaica cricket team and now playing for West Indies.
7. MAURICE ODUMBE:
One of the most significant players and former captain of Kenya team was offered a ban of five years in a row in the year of 2005 after he was found receiving money from bookies in several occasions. During this ban period, he worked with Non- Government Organization carrying out social work. After the lifting of ban in the year of 2010, he started to play at a domestic level.
6. AJAY JADEJA:
His name was brought in to allegations by Mohammad Azharuddin, the then skipper of Indian cricket team, who confessed in the investigation that he was able to fix the matches with the help of this batsman who was also a good fielder. He was banned from playing the game for a period of five years. Later on he challenged the ban in the High court. But his petition was dismissed as there was no one represented him. He overturned from his ban in the year of 2003 itself. Now he is playing domestic matches in India.
5. MANOJ PRABAHAR:
He was banned in the year of 2000 from International cricket matches by Board of Cricket Council India (BCCI) for five years. He was found guilty by having association with the book makers. In the initial stage he accused Kapil Dev of getting involved with the bookies. But it backfired on him and a probe was ordered on his conduct. Later on he was found to be delinquent himself. From then on, he was barred from holding any official post in the cricket council of India. He served as the bowling coach and then head coach of the Delhi team for a few years.
4. MOHAMMAD ASIF:
He is one of the most recent player to get arrested for involving in Match fixing issues. He was arrested for bowling pre-determined number of No balls against England in the year of 2011. He was found guilty by U.K. court for accepting corrupt payments. From then on he was imprisoned in U.K. jail for a period of one year. He was confined from playing cricket for a period of seven years by Paksitan Cricket Board. He tried his hands in the Bollywood film industry before getting imprisoned. But it resulted in vain.
3. SALMAN BUTT:
Salman Butt was arrested in the same scandal as that of Mohammad Asif. This scandal was brought to the shore by the British Tabloid News of the world in 2010. Before getting suspended from the cricket team, he served as the captain of Pakistan Cricket team. He was one of the star players till he got involved himself in the spot fixing issue. He was also awarded a year of imprisonment by U.K. Court for accepting corrupt money. Pakistan Cricket Board ordered a ban of 10 years on him right from the year of 2011.
2. HANSIE CRONJE:
Hansie Cronje was one of the most respectable players in the world till the Indian Police released the tapes of conversation between the player and a book maker. He was accused of giving information about the team and forecast of the match against India. Initially he didn’t accept the charges. But later on, he confessed his dealings with book maker. Till the end, he maintained that none of his team mates were involved in this charge. He was banned for the life time by South African Cricket Board Council. Two years after this incident, he died in a plane crash. In the same scandal other South African players were also banned including Herschelle Gibbs and Henry Williams.
He served as the skipper and captain of Indian cricket team till 2000. After the life time ban on Hansie Cronje, Indian government ordered CBI to conduct a probe whether any Indian cricketer was involved in betting. From then on, players came under scanner and their houses were probed. The reports revealed that Mohammad Azharuddin had involved in betting with the help of Ajay Jadega and another team member. Initially Azharuddin reported that he was targeted being a Muslim. Later on he confessed that he received money from bookies. Hence BCCI issued a life time ban on the player.
Everybody knows that this is not the final result of ranking. There are still more to be added including Sreesanth, Ankit Chawan, Ajit Chandila, Abinav Bali and Monish Misra. Since the probe is going on, nothing to be said sure. But I do hope that this list would end with these names alone forever. This is the wish of every cricket fan all around the world.