Pakistan’s cricketers emerged from their London hotel ahead of a crushing defeat to England at Lord’s cricket ground. But the result was arguably the least of the team’s concerns after the game between the two countries was overshadowed by allegations of match fixing.
In what is the latest crisis to rock the game, police have arrested a 35 year old agent for conspiracy to defraud bookmakers. The suspected scam centres on two Pakistani bowlers being asked to bowl ‘no balls’ at specific points in the game.
The so called ‘spot betting’ was revealed by the British tabloid the News of the World. It claims it paid a middleman around 180,000 euros, who gave the paper exact details of when 3 pre-arranged faulty balls would be.
For the game’s supporters, it’s just not cricket.
‘‘I’m just saying, it’s very disappointing, I mean we’ve had two really wonderful day’s cricket, everybody was really up for it, very exciting, all the headlines should have been about that, not about this.’‘
Some experts also think the scandal could have wider implications for Pakistan, which now finds itself on a sticky wicket. Keen to defuse the controversy, cricket authorities issued a statement saying they were helping police with their inquiries.
So far, no Pakistani players have been arrested.