Corruption Spoils A Nice Weekend

Posted on August 30, 2010
I had numerous things I was going to blog about this weekend, and one of the funnier/shocking moments was seeing a woman doing the washing up in her caravan. Nothing strange about that really, apart from the fact that she was being towed down the A303 at about 65mph! I assume it is illegal, but if not, it is total madness. I witnessed a caravan falling of a car on the M3 a few years ago, it collapsed like a deck of cards liberally spewing its contents across the carriageway. If someone had been it, they would met their maker in a rather unpleasant fashion.

Spurred on by this event I was going to write a witty blog of the most ludicrous events I have witnessed, then all of a sudden we were hit by the cricket betting scandal that has shocked the nation, so it will have to wait. I don’t know where to start on this really, as most scandals are juicy gossip revolving around an individuals fall from grace. We enjoy it, as it often involves a pompous, or arrogant individual who has pontificated about christian values and morality, only to be found to have the same human failings of which they have been so critical (See my Caroline Nokes Blog here)

The Pakistan cricket scandal is different in so many ways, it involves so many people, and affects the very fabric of the sport in more ways than anyone can contemplate just yet, as the allegations are becoming stronger by the hour. It has maybe affected me more than others, because I coach a colts cricket team, and I have an impressionable 14 year old son who I have taught the values and decency of a good game of cricket. I took him to see Australia v Pakistan earlier in the summer in what appeared at the time, an enthralling encounter. That now counts for nothing. I exchanged text messages with him as the outrageously talented Mohamhed Amir tore through the England batsmen on Friday morning, and again as Stuart Broad and Jonathon Trott staged a heroic fightback, that we all thought would be the stuff of legends. That now counts for nothing.

The allegations, if proven may be seen by some as just the odd no ball, but what else has gone on? Why have Pakistan collapsed to three innings of less than a hundred? Why did Kamran Akmal the wicketkeeper drop the most inexplicably routine catches one after the other? Why did Siaid Afreedi retire from international tests so abruptly? Everything now seems so obvious, including the time when my son rang me in stitches after he had seen the worst fluffed catch by a fielder in Test cricket. It’s a desperate situation, and I am certain it is the tip of an unsavoury iceberg. The News of The World are synonymous with stings on pop stars, politicians and footballers, but whether they knew it or not, the consequences of this are far further reaching.

World cricket needs Pakistan, like football needs Brazil, they have produced some of the greatest players of all time such as Imran Khan, Waqar Younis, and Wasim Akram, but something needs to change quickly. However from what I have read (I am no expert on sub continent politics) Pakistan is institutionally corrupt, and that Pakistani cricket is a reflection of society as whole. 70% of government money is spent on defence, and very little on education and infrastructure. kids grow up believing that a fast buck, by whatever means, is the only way out of the slums, and once the impressionable cricketers of this nation fall in to the hands of mafia betting rings, what choice do they have?

It is very easy for the tabloid press to take the moral high ground over an 18 year old boy like Mohahmed Amir, but maybe bowling a no ball in a game of cricket seems an easier option than having his family hounded by gangsters. The problem is, once you have said yes once, that is never enough. England and Australia are now under huge pressure to make the 2010/2011 Ashes contest one of the best ever, otherwise a generation of kids may just walk away from

Sorry to bore non cricket fans, I had to get that off my chest.

3 Replies to "Corruption Spoils A Nice Weekend"

  • Trevor and Amy
    August 31, 2010 (12:43 am)

    Agree with your comments Bob,

    Such a shame about Amir as he looks an incredible talent and his whole career will now be in question.

    The main thing seems to be how deep the corruption runs within the Pakistan team and to be honest on the face of it, it looks to be very deep.

    It must be a crap time to be a Pakistan supporter.

    Someone on the BBC made a fair (and optimistic) point though that Italian football was spoilt because of betting/corruption a few years ago and has recovered from it, so I guess there is hope.

    For now though I can't really see how the Twenty-20 games and one-dayers can go ahead between England and Pakistan. Inevitably though they will as tickets will have been sold and players contracts will need to be met.

    In the light of the scandal though they are even more meaningless than they were before it.

    As you say roll on the summer/winter series in Australia with England retaining the ashes.

    Apparently though the 3rd ball in the 4th over is going to be a no ball. That piece of advice will only cost you 10 grand!

    31 August 2010 01:42

  • Colin Norton
    August 31, 2010 (1:34 pm)

    I couldn't agree more with your comments Bob.

    What summed things up was the presentation in the Long Room at the end of the Test match. Not only was it behind closed doors but Giles Clarke (CEO ECB) at the last minute realised that presenting Mohammed Amir with a bottle of champagne as Pakistan's Man of the Series would be something of a faux pas. Consequently the final TV shot just showed the bottle of champagne remaining on the table.

  • Anonymous
    August 31, 2010 (3:22 pm)

    That's the same Giles Clarke who prostituted himself to Alan Stanford……..the ECB should also take a peak at their own moral codes, the game needs to be cleaned up from top to bottom!!

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