Can we move on, please?
The match fixing saga is taken its toll
By Ali Yawer

Mark Waugh, Warne and Moody started it in 1994-95 and since then every Tom, Dick, and Harry has had his turn in this “now getting murkier day by day” match–fixing saga. What Shane Warne and Mark Waugh, of course, never realized was that one-day their names, too, would appear in the list of the “accused”. Manoj Prabhakar did the same episode in India but almost the results are same. Now the question is, where do we go from here? Whatever people might think or say, one thing is sure, no one has been comprehensively proved guilty without doubt, nor does it seem possible happening. As all three charges brought up by many and sundry, none can be proved in a court of law. A few meaningless bans here, and there don’t count much.

The Pakistanis had their umpteenth report before they could ban Malik & Ataur-Rehman. While Malik’s career was as good as finished, Rehman was anyway a non-entity I the game. The Aussies too did an enquiry, albeit secretly, against Warne and Waugh. They were fined a paltry sum and they moved on. Hansie Cronje has been “fixed” by his own confessions. But day in and day out, one gets to hear a new story of how someone tried to ‘fix’ one match in some distant past.

People would like to know where there “crusaders of truth” when the events were taking place in reality. Why are there people dirtying the game by making vague accusation after such long gaps? Guaranteeing their places in the team? This-muck raising has gone for too long now. Even the CBI admits it has no foolproof case against everyone accused. So at the end, can the players be tried? No & somewhat yes. Get it clear folks; we do not have any law that deals with match fixing, effectively. Indeed, with all these controversy, what we have done is tried our best to kill the golden goose i.e. cricket itself. And everyone concerned with cricket has played a port in it. The cynicism built has been great. We have forgotten that the game itself is bigger than the ‘stars it produces. Look how soon the younger crop has filled the slot in India’s case. But coming back to the controversy, what it has done is that it has driven the sponsors away. Today no one wants to be associated with the game itself.

Infact, of late, one has seen a trend, where players all around the world treated guilty until proved innocent, which should be the other way round. This is a dangerous trend in itself and it will make the youngster wary of the game of cricket, as they would fear for their clean image being sullied by some accusing fingers. So the thing that should be addressed is that the accusers should not be let off lightly unless they come up with hard evidences. Why waste so much of public money on futile investigation like the one against Kapil Dev. But the tragedy in his case is that people are still pointing fingers at him. Now what do we do if such people (like the former Mumbai officer of the Income Tax, Desh Band Gupta) do what they have done.

Stop all these dramas and let the gentleman’s game move on. Pay the players well and please let us all enjoy the game we all love.


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