The recent news about the Pakistan Cricket team match fixing allegations appears to be more shocking than first thought. It now appears that the alleged match fixers may have made up to £20 million for their co conspirators, whilst securing a share of around £6 million for themselves.
Mazhar Majeed was filmed by a Sunday paper giving details of no balls and their timings reportedly for £150,000. Subsequently, no balls in the match came at the right times and were very blatant.
Police and fraud squad detectives are now investigating every match that the Pakistan Cricket team have played in the last two years. They will assess bookmaker’s accounts to see if there are any other suspicious betting patterns that may lend themselves to potential fraud.
The cricket world has been saddened and shocked by the scale of the scandal and even the president of Pakistan, Yousef Raza Gilani, said that the country should “bow its head in shame.” There have been previous cricket betting scandals but none at this level. Where millions of pounds are bet on cricket daily, this sort of activity is inevitable. It is a certainty that if found guilty, the players will face a lifetime ban at least.
There were many raised eyebrows when Amir was awarded player of the series with England and was awarded a cheque for £4,000. This followed extended booing from England cricket fans who were appalled at the allegations. Imran Khan said that Pakistan should still be allowed to compete, even if the allegations are found to be true. Pakistan is very proud of its cricket heritage and to not compete would be a huge setback for the country.
Other sports have recently had similar scandals, particularly snooker which is still deciding if John Higgins is guilty of match fixing and accepting bungs. Betting syndicates are set up worldwide to take advantage of these stings, betting on intricate parts of matches can be hard to detect.
Firmer action needs to be taken with guilty parties as the threat of a ban is not enough to deter foul play. It is important to remember that inadvertently, fraud in sport takes money away from honest punters.