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Corruption in International cricket under the microscope

According to Al Jazeera 15 international cricket matches were on the receiving end of 26-spot-fixing scams.

David Warner, SA v AUS
David Warner of Australia. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images?Getty Images)

Australian cricket has come apart at the seams following the ball-tampering scandal earlier on during the year when Australia played South Africa. One of the protagonists, David Warner, resorted to walking off the field of play on Saturday while playing for Randwick Petersham in a Sydney grade cricket match.

The “walk-off” happened after Jason Hughes told Warner that he was a disgrace and that he shouldn’t be playing cricket. Warner has been banned from playing professional cricket for 12-months as a result of the Cape Town incident. He told his wife that he left the field to prevent himself from “losing it.” He returned after a few minutes and went on to notch-up 157 runs.

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This latest display of temper has only brought incredulity from many other players, particularly those he has sledged in the past. They accuse him of dishing it out but not being able to take it when the roles are reversed.

The sport is coming under considerable pressure right now as regards ball-tampering and match-fixing. A lot of money is spent of cricket betting, and anything that influences results is not just bad for the game’s reputation but can also be seen as interfering with and defrauding anyone placing bets on the outcome or the components of games.

The infamous video of Australian Cameron Bancroft trying to hide s a piece of sandpaper in his cricket pants in the match against South Africa in March was undeniable. It has led to Steve Smith and David Warner (the architects) being suspended for 12 months and Bancroft for nine.

It hasn’t stopped there though. A 145-page report digging further into the wrongdoings of Cricket Australia (which has been branded arrogant and dictatorial) is damning. The incidents have led to Australian team coach, Darren Lehmann, resigning and the departure of Chief Exec James Sutherland leaving. It is also said that Pat Howard, the team performance boss will also soon be departing.

Unfortunately, Cricket Australia are not the only ones under the microscope. Allegations have also been made by Al Jazeera. They are saying that between the years 2011 and 2012, 15 international cricket matches were on the receiving end of 26-spot-fixing scams.

This is part of an ongoing investigation, whereby Interpol have now been called in. The claims include allegations that a small band of England cricketers have also been involved in seven of 26 fixing incidents.

The investigation, which has been christened The Munawar Files,” states that of the 15 matches cited, England batted to instruction in seven, Australia in five, and Pakistan in three. A match between Sri-Lanka and Zimbabwe is also under investigation.

While Cricket Australia has already taken certain steps, with various members of staff leaving as described earlier, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) are refuting the claims until corroboration of the allegations is made available.

But one of the most damning claims as far ECB is concerned, is that the ICC, who commissioned the investigation, maintain that the cricket fixing under investigation began here in England some three decades ago.

Whatever the outcome of the ongoing investigation, the sooner the results are available, and the appropriate cricket authorities take action, the better. Only then can people begin to get their faith back in the sport’s integrity.

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