Dirty Picture : When Sport Gets Tainted

dirty-picture-when-sports-gHere’s a recap of what happened before the latest spot fixing shocker involving Sreesanth and others. After a sting operation conducted by a Hindi news channel, claiming to unveil ‘murky deals’ among players, organisers, owners and big shots in the governing body itself, the BCCI took stringent action and suspended five players, Abhinav Bali, TP Sudhindra (Deccan Chargers), Mohnish Mishra (Pune Warriors), Amit Yadav (Kings XI Punjab) and Shalabh Shrivastava (Kings XI Punjab) for 15 days, with immediate effect pending completion of an inquiry. The sting claimed that many players have confessed on hidden camera getting much more money, under the table, than their prescribed auction.
The International Cricket Council is all set to launch an inquiry into a report in the ‘Sunday Times’, which claimed that the Indian bookmakers are fixing the results of England county games and international fixtures. The newspaper’s investigation has suggested that the bookmakers offer thousands of pounds to the players. About 44,000 pounds to batsmen for slow scoring, 50,000 pounds for bowlers who concede runs and 750,000 pounds for a player or official who can guarantee a match outcome.
It also revealed that corruption tainted last year’s World Cup semi-final between India and Pakistan. The fixers claimed to have recruited players from countries, including England using a Bollywood actress as a honeytrap. An Indian TV news channel also played out a video of a sting operation done by the ‘Sunday Times’ showing a bookie talking about fixing cricket matches and players.

2012 – Mervyn Westfield jailed for 4 months
Former Essex bowler Mervyn Westfield was jailed for four months after admitting taking 6,000 pounds ($9,200) to intentionally concede runs during a 40 overs English county match in 2009. ‘For financial gain, you betrayed the trust placed in you to play honestly and to the best of your ability,’ judge Anthony Morris said at the Old Bailey in London. ‘If, because of corrupt payments, it cannot be guaranteed that every player will play to the best of his ability, the reality is that the enjoyment of many millions of people around the world who watch cricket, whether on television or at cricket grounds, will be destroyed.’

2012 – Butt, Amir and Asif sentenced to jail
Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt and two of his teammates  pacers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer  were sentenced to jail for their role in the spot-fixing scandal, making them the first cricketers ever to be imprisoned for corruption.
Butt was sentenced to two and a half years, Asif was handed a one-year term, while the 19-year-old Aamer was sentenced to six months in the young offenders’ detention centre instead of jail.

2008 – Marlon Samuels handed a two year ban
West Indies cricketer and middle order batsmen Marlon Samuels served a two year ban by the International Cricket Council on being guilty of ‘receiving money, or benefit or other reward that could bring him or the game of cricket into disrepute.’ Samuels was constantly in touch with the bookmakers, a violation of rules as per the West Indies Cricket Board. Samuels had been allegedly contacted by an Indian bookie during the Nagpur ODI and was subsequently banned. As per the news reports, Samuels sank deep into depression during the two year ban period starting May 9, 2008.

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2000 – Dark Side of Cricket: Hansje Cronje Case
Match fixing charges against Hansje Cronje shocked many as the game of cricket was tainted like never before. By far the most scandalous exposure, the intercepted tapes by Delhi Police found the former South African skipper guilty of accepting money to fix the results of matches. Following the allegations and the subsequent court enquiry, Cronje was banned for life from all forms of cricket. He also alleged other players including India’s Mohammed Azharuddin (facing life ban) and Ajay Jadeja (given 5-year ban) were involved. Cronje’s untimely death in an unfortunate place crash in 2002 could not uncover the truth completely. The Hansie Cronje saga also involved several other names including Herschelle Gibbs, Nicky Boje and Manoj Prabhakar, who all managed to wriggle themselves out of the controversy subsequently.

1998 – Shane Warne, Mark Waugh admit to taking bribe
Australian spin wizard Shane Warne and middle order bat Mark Waugh were fined after the duo were found guilty of accepting money for letting out pitch and weather information to the famous Indian bookie named ‘John the bookmaker’. Warne has allegedly accepted $ 4,000 USD to divulge the information, the spinner refused to share any strategic insights like team strategy and playing 11. Though the matter was officially reported to the International Cricket Council, it was initially swept under the carpet by the Australian Cricket Board and the two players were secretly punished.


IPL Rocked By Arrest Of Sreesanth,  Others For Spot-Fixing

In a sensational development, Indian paceman S Sreesanth and two of his Rajasthan Royals teammates Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan were arrested by the Delhi police on the charges of spot fixing in the ongoing Indian Premier League. The special cell of the Delhi police arrested Sreesanth from his friend’s place in Mumbai while the other two cricketers were arrested from the team hotel at Nariman Point for their alleged role in spot fixing. The arrest took place immediately after the players returned to their team hotel, following their match against Mumbai Indians at Wankhede stadium. The hosts won by 14 runs. The Delhi police source said that these players were under the scanner for their role in spot fixing in some of the earlier IPL match although they did not elaborate which matches were under scrutiny. The police have also arrested seven bookies in Mumbai and three bookies in Delhi in connection with the same case. They are looking for two more bookies in Delhi.The development came as a shock for the IPL authorities who have time and again grappled with controversies and scandals ever since the league was launched in 2008. Rajasthan Royals CEO Raghu Iyer said that the three players were picked up by Delhi police and the team management was co-operating with the investigation. “Rajasthan Royals has zero tolerance for corruption and we will take action, if charges are proved,” he said.

– PTI/India Syndicate

In a sensational development, Indian paceman S Sreesanth and two of his Rajasthan Royals teammates Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan were arrested by the Delhi police on the charges of spot fixing in the ongoing Indian Premier League. The special cell of the Delhi police arrested Sreesanth from his friend’s place in Mumbai while the other two cricketers were arrested from the team hotel at Nariman Point for their alleged role in spot fixing. The arrest took place immediately after the players returned to their team hotel, following their match against Mumbai Indians at Wankhede stadium. The hosts won by 14 runs. The Delhi police source said that these players were under the scanner for their role in spot fixing in some of the earlier IPL match although they did not elaborate which matches were under scrutiny. The police have also arrested seven bookies in Mumbai and three bookies in Delhi in connection with the same case. They are looking for two more bookies in Delhi.The development came as a shock for the IPL authorities who have time and again grappled with controversies and scandals ever since the league was launched in 2008. Rajasthan Royals CEO Raghu Iyer said that the three players were picked up by Delhi police and the team management was co-operating with the investigation. “Rajasthan Royals has zero tolerance for corruption and we will take action, if charges are proved,” he said.

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