Where the nation was yet recovering from the shock given by the performance of the boys in green in the ongoing test at Lords’, all focus has now shifted to the media reports coming out of England claiming that they have uncovered a match fixing scandal involving top Pakistani players.
As the details are still sketchy and team officials have preferred to go into hiding instead of answering media, it is hard to say what exactly is going on. For the time being all we know is that Mohammad Aamir, Asif, Salman Butt and Kamran Akmal are in the center of this controversy. The English media in a covert operation filmed one of the middle men for these Pakistani players accepting the sum of € 150k on their behalf.
Later to the surprise of nearly every one watching this hidden cam recording, this middle man in advance informs the bookie of certain signals from these players, which will reveal that the match is fixed. One is amazed that his exact timing of the said no-balls by Mohammad Aamir and Asif is repeated later in the match a day later by these player. The middle man later boasts that he has 7 top Pakistani players dancing to his tunes while his links extend to the management of Pakistan cricket board. Toward the night Scotland Yard along with the officials of ICC anti corruption board were investigating the players of Pakistan’s team, while reports also emerged regarding the discovery of the above mentioned cash from the rooms of these players.
This was undoubtedly the last thing cricket Pakistan required and as a nation this is nothing less than a night mare. Although the investigation has just started, I would like to predict that the matter will go much further than any one has thought initially. Some reports claimed that this middle man has revealed that his activities are going on for the last 1 and a half year and he has claimed to have booked matches even during the tour of Australia. If this comes true, than not only the players named above but many who are facing expulsion from the team right now will also come under the red light. On the other hand this event has once again refreshed the bitter memories of match fixing in the past, where we saw players like Wasim Akram, Salim Malik , Ijaz Ahmed, Mushtaq and many more disgraced.
On the national level, this is nothing less than a betrayal to the nation. With millions in open skies waiting for food and shelter, they are paid to carry on the pride of this nation but undoubtedly they have proved themselves as a disgrace to this nation. Whatever Scotland Yard or ICC officials perceive from this case, it is requested by the entire nation from the patron in chief of Pakistan cricket board to initiate a free and fair judicial inquiry against all of them, and without any discrimination the team officials and players involved should be taken to task for this treason. Ijaz Butt and his chosen puppets have nothing more to loose. It was clear that by a scheme some top line players were disrespected and discarded from the team and keeping this in mind, the blame and justice should roll from the top level.
Not as a Pakistani but a cricket fan, this act of a few has put the credibility of this game at stake. Till the inquiry yield any results, all we can do is to keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best, both for Pakistan and the cricketing world as well.