This maxim has been constantly spiralling after Pakistani cricketers’ shameful and abhorring scandal of Spot Fixing surfacing all search engines and news channels of the world. Some international cricket pundits and gurus have openly commented on this scandal, suggesting the right course of action to be taken against the players involved but Pakistani cricket experts and veterans, ridiculously, think of it otherwise, terming it shocking and rather something peculiar as if it has never happened before or the Pakistani cricketers have not been, previously, quizzed by the concerned police when doubts surrounded their professional career.
I am not at all surprised or shocked at this scandalous attitude or behaviour of Pakistani cricketers which are said to be allegations. However, these allegations are strong enough to prove them guilty after secret filming of Mazhar Majeed who was known to Pakistani cricket players since 2006. The two brothers, Azhar and Mazhar Majeed are said to be present with Pakistani cricket team in their tour of Australia early this year where Pakistan lost every single international through the series and, in the second test against Australia, Pakistan lost from a dominant position of 36 runs.
According to sports analysts and news channels, Azhar and Mazhar Majeed were working as agents to many Pakistani players to secure them sponsorships and kit contracts among other things. The 35 year old Mazhar Majeed was filmed secretly by the News of the World to give him with a sum of £150, 000/- to predict the match and Mazhar claims to have bribed Pakistani bawlers to bawl no-balls on demand. Mohammad Aamir and Mohammad Asif, whom he, allegedly, asked to bawl no-balls at specific moments of the match and, according to the paper, his claims matched accurately with that of the bawlers’ in-field actions. The paper also alleges that the team captain, Salman Butt, and the wicketkeeper, Kamran Akmal, are involved, along with other unnamed cricketers. In the video secretly recorded during the News of the World (NOTW) investigation, a man alleged to be Mazhar is clearly heard predicting that Aamir would bowl the first over of the England innings, and that he would deliver a no-ball from the first ball of the third over – which as Cricinfo’s ball-by-ball commentary noted: “Was an enormous no-ball, good half a metre over the line.” The man also appeared to correctly predict a no-ball from the sixth ball of the tenth over, bawled this time by Asif. Mentioning the fact that these two brothers were agents to other Pakistani players too including Younis Khan, Abdul Razzaq, Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif, Mohammad Yousuf, Shahid Afridi, Kamran Akmal, Misbah-ul-Haq, Abdur Rauf as well as others.
This is the dark side of Pakistani cricket players and the team management is equally responsible for their disgusting involvements in match cum spot fixing. Pakistan Cricket Board is paying handsome amounts of money to the Management who tour foreign countries and spend lavishly but the poor performance of cricket players is wholly ignored and the ones like Kamran Akmal, who was also proved to be deliberately underperforming in this year’s Australian Tour which was revealed by an inquiry of the then coaches Aaqib Javed and Intikhab Alam. We know that most Pakistani cricket players are involved in match fixing which have been ascertained by various past reports and inquiries but, at this stage, the PCB and the incumbent management should also be held equally reprehensible for their misconduct and poor management. Yawar Saeed, the Team Manager, while talking to the media said, “When we started this tour, I told the players they should not be entertaining these two in their hotel rooms.” It, further, gives impetus to the point that these players had been previously involved in such heinous crimes or the team management and the PCB were aware of the previous past involvements of these players into match fixing to defame Pakistan and the game of cricket.
At the time of writing these lines, I am sure that more Pakistani players will come out of their dens and speak aloud that they had warned the team management or the PCB about such involvements or suspicious movements of the players. The President of Pakistan and the Prime Minister are said to have taken stern notice of this scandal with clear directions for further inquest into the matter. In Pakistan, inquiries into serious matters are always dug deeper to bury the reports without making them public or revealing the truths to the nation. Providing the allegations are proved against those involved, they will be acquitted of the charges with minor monetary penalties but permanent solution to the matter is never sought as it will endanger their vested interests. The PCB Head is 73 years old, who, occasionally, burst out at local and international media on indigestible questions. He is partially deaf and, significantly, devoid of leadership qualities and lacking the confidence to take rational decisions. The Board members and the team management are salaried hefty amounts but their performance remains a big questions mark for cricket lovers and the people of Pakistan.
I do not say that minor penalties would do any good to the future of Pakistani cricket as young and talented players are anticipating to be included in the team who could, undoubtedly, boost the image of the country with vigorous performances. I would strongly recommend that the members of the PCB including the Chairman, the entire team management and the existing players of the cricket team should be permanently banned from office/cricket as they are always involved in scandals, team ripping and spoiling our monetary resources into foreign soils without any evident result. The Government of Pakistan must also consider the possibility of abolishing the entire cricket structure to be represented at international level in order to avoid prospective scandals in forms of match fixing, ball tempering and spot fixing.