Listen to the Noise of Silence
It is not because I am a Pakistani, it is not because Pakistan Cricket Team’s journey to the Twenty-20 World Cup is over and it is not because I have any personal issue(s) with any of the personnel at the International Cricket Council (ICC), the international governing body of cricket; I am just saying; what I am seeing.
Founded by representatives from England, Australia and South Africa as the Imperial Cricket Conference in 1909, it was later known as the International Cricket Conference (named so in 1965). Finally, in 1989, it took up its current name and beyond doubts the ICC has done a lot for Cricket and rendered excellent services for the betterment of the game.
However, over the past few years every cricket lover (having little to complete knowledge of the game) must have observed numerous incidents of kind of ‘Unusual Happenings,’ mostly in One Day Internationals and in Twenty-20 games. With all due respect to Mr. Alan Raymond Isaac, the current ICC President, let me dare say that ‘Fingers Are Being Raised’ towards the ICC’s role again as majority of cricket fans around the globe does believe; most of the matches or even the entire tournaments; are ‘Fixed.’
The former New Zealand cricketer, 60-year-old Mr. Isaac succeeded to former ICC President Mr. Sharad Pawar (from India) very recently (2012) and the ongoing Twenty-20 World Cup happens to be the first Big Event being played in Sri Lanka, under Mr. Isaac’s presidency. Media reports from both Pakistan and India suggest that several former Sub-Continent players are raising their voices as evidently; there’s something ‘fishy’ about few match results.
Let’s first recall the bitter memories of a big cricket match that was completed though; but the same left behind many questions that still remain unanswered. It was India v/s Pakistan 2011 Cricket World Cup Semi-Final played in India following which; everyone strongly believed that ‘corruption’ tainted that particular game.
Similarly, according to shocking reports published in the ‘Sunday Times’ last year, bookmakers from India were found involved in fixing the county games’ results, being played in England. The International Cricket Council came into action and they reportedly launched an inquiry into the ‘serious allegations’ against Indian bookmakers involved in fixing the results of even international fixtures, other than county games.
Same year, Sulman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir from Pakistan were alleged of ‘spot-fixing’ in a 2010 Test match between Pakistan and England; the entire bunch of three were subsequently jailed in Britain. By not going into the details, I would like to raise my own voice about 3 Particular matches of current Twenty-20 World Cup: India v/s Pakistan, India v/s South Africa and Pakistan v/s Sri Lanka.
The way India defeated Pakistan in a crunch Super-8 Group match on September 30; it created doubts in the minds of millions of people watching the 2012 World Twenty-20 Cup. A bating ‘Power-House’ Pakistan team could only score 128 runs and were unable to play their full quota of 20 overs. In reply, Indians were home in 17th over with 8 wickets in hand; on a wicket that Pakistani batsmen found ‘hard to bat on.’
South Africa – India Game:
In this ‘Must-Win’ game, India bated first and scored massive 152/6 in their 20-overs though but to qualify for the Semi-Finals; they had to restrict South Africa under 122 runs. South Africa however, not only managed to score beyond 122; they nearly took the game away from India but in the end they lost the game by JUST 1 RUN! Although India won the match but interestingly, it was Indian media that demanded for an enquiry into this match and blamed M.S. Dhoni for India’s early exit from the tournament.
Pakistan – Sri Lanka Game:
With both India and South Africa out of their way, Pakistan dramatically moved into the Semi-Finals though but lost to the home team; again in a way that clearly suggested; they had to LOSE and PAVE WAY for Sri Lanka to the Finals. As expected, Pakistan media talked a lot and still talking about the amazing turnaround of a game that Pakistan could easily win since the target (140 Runs) was ‘achievable’ by all means.
The question is whether will the ICC look into the matter ‘seriously’ and play its role to stop people think; gone are the days when players used to play for Pride; not for Prize!