Published On: Tue, Mar 22nd,

Famous Corruption Scandals in the History of Cricket


The international Cricket has been through numerous controversies regarding players being involved in the betting facets of this game. Precisely, a number of players have been bribed and contacted by bookmakers to, throw matches, aspects of matches or provide other related information.

1. Hansie Cronje Controversy 1990 – 2000

The Delhi police, in 2000, caught a conversation between Hansie Cronje, the South African captain and a blacklisted bookie in which they came to know that Cronje accepted money for throwing matches. The government of South Africa refused to permit all its players to face the investigation unit of Indian. An inquiry court was established and Cronje confessed about throwing matches. He was banned from all crickets immediately. He also revealed some famous names including Saleem Malik (Pakistan), Ajay Jadeja and Mohammed Azharuddin (India). A ban of 4 years was implemented on Jadeja. They were also banned from all crickets. Being a kingpin, Cronje revealed the dark side of betting; however after his death in 2002 majority of his sources escaped law enforcement agencies. Two other South African players, Nicky Boje and Herschelle Gibbs, were also among the wanted list of Delhi police for their part in the match fixing story.

It is said that the fountainhead of all betting organizations is D Company of Dawood Ibrahim. According to a top bookie of Mumbai, the perception of match fixing by the bookies is not correct. Because the real punters in Dubai are the individuals who call the shots. For any India-Pakistan match, particularly in Sharjah (the center of match-fixing, according to bookies), Dawood-led betting organizations step in while Mumbai bookies lay off, as an impliedly accepted rule. It is also widely considered that Dawood’s influence ranges to cricketers as well.

2. Shane Warne and Mark Waugh controversy 1990s

“John the bookmaker” or “John” is the name titled to an Indian bookmaker who paid money to Australian cricketers Shane Warne and Mark Waugh in 1994–95, for providing him weather and pitch information. But, according to the cricketers, they refused to reveal more tactical material, like player selection policies and team tactics. The matter was primarily concealed by the Australian Cricket Board (ACB), which took decision that penalizing the players secretly was sufficient. The ACB decided that, since Warne and Waugh had formerly accused Saleem Malik, Pakistani captain, of trying to bribe them for losing matches, their trustworthiness as witnesses would be affected if their own connection with John was publicized. The ACB described the issue to the ICC, and the matter terminated.

In late 1998, the media uncovered the issue. The public and press widely condemned the both players along with the ACB for their conspiracy. Waugh faced an aggressive response from the Australian crowd when he came out for batting in a Test match just after the publicizing of news. At the same time, the sports community was showing a generally supportive behavior for the players. Rob O’Regan QC was appointed by The ACB in order to conduct an autonomous inquiry of the matter. He determined that the fines were insufficient and a “significant time” suspension would be a more suitable penalty. He condemned the behaviors of players and their failure as role models for young fans, strongly. He further stated that players should be better knowledgeable regarding the hazards of gambling and unauthorized bookmakers.

The dispute provoked Pakistan to ask both Australian players to appear in Pakistan’s own judicial investigation into corruption; Australia replied by allowing the Pakistanis authorization to conduct hearings in Australia with full rights. The cricketers were asked about their allegations against Malik, and whether their relations with John diminished from their integrity. Both Warne and Waugh denied any offers they played with reduced fortitude in the matches in inquiry, testifying that they were the leading performers in matches that they appealed were subjected to deals of bribery.

3. Amir, Asif and Butt controversy

In August 2010, News of the World revealed a story with video proof of their undercover reporters proposing Majeed £150,000 for delivering info about the ongoing 4th Test Match between Pakistan and England. In the video, Majeed said the undercover reporters that 2 Pakistani bowlers (Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif) would purposely deliver no balls at precise points in the match. In the same video Majeed further exposed that Amir would bowl the 3rd over for Pakistan and that the 1st ball of his over would be a no-ball. It happened in the same manner and Amir bowled the 3rd over, and delivered a no-ball on his 1st delivery. According to commentators, it was a “massive overstep”, a complete half-foot outside the delivery line. Majeed also forecasted that the 6th delivery of 1oth over would be a no-ball. Delivered by Asif, it was also a no-ball delivery.

During that video, Majeed told about his connections with 7 of Pakistan’s touring squad. Among those 7, he named team captain Salman Butt, Asif, Amir and wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal, in that video. He did not tell the names of other 3.
Consequently, Majeed got arrested on misgiving of conspiracy to cheat bookmakers’ charges. While in February 2011, the ICC announced ban on all 3 players. Salman Butt was banned for 10 years of which 5 were suspended, Muhammad Asif for 7 of which 2 were suspended while Amir for 5 years.

4. Marlon Samuels’ Scandal 2008

Marlon Samuels, the West Indian all-rounder, was accused by Indian police of revealing tactical information to an Indian bookie regarding team matches. There was not sufficient information available in order to prove that Samuels was paid for the information or to prove any match fixing by him. However the information was sufficient to ascertain it amounted to betting. Later on this case, the released a tape exposing the player’s conversation with the bookie and the ICC banned him and made him cease playing cricket for two years. Samuels still upholds his innocence.

5. Ashraful BPL Match Fixing scandal 2013

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Ashraful served the Bangladesh cricket team as captain from 2007 to 2009. He is the youngest player to score Test century at the age of 17 in 2001. The player faced an alleged fixing regarding a match between the Chittagong Kings and Dhaka Gladiators teams in the 2nd edition of the Bangladesh Premier League. According to local media reports, the 28-years Gladiators star allegedly received around 1 million taka ($12,800) for losing the match to be played on 2nd February, 2013. Chittagong Kings won the match by 54 runs. Though the player has not yet found guilty of this accuse, but the Bangladesh Cricket Board has announced his suspension until the full report from ICC is received. Ashraful, however, has recently made a public apology for this scandal just after the announcement of suspension.

6. Chris Cairns

Chris Cairns, Previous New Zealand all-rounder issued a statement repudiating he is “Player X” in match-fixing assertions accredited to Brendon McCullum, recent Black Caps captain, calling such propositions “a complete lie”. Reports claimed that McCullum delivered the ICC with evidence of a momentous effort by an anonymous, high class player, recognized as ‘Player X’, to attract him into spot-fixing by offering more than £100,000. McCullum’s disclosures trail those by Lou Vincent, previous New Zealand batsman regarding numerous matches which were besieged for spot-fixing. However, Cairns maintained his innocence, and gave a statement to Fairfax Media stating “dark forces” being at work.

The statement goes as follow: “I am alert that current New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum and previous cricketer Lou Vincent have claimed a series of accusations about a cricketer named Player X.

7. Danish Kaneria Spot Fixing Scandal

Kaneria was arrested in May 2010, in association with “match irregularities” in domestic season of 2009. The inquiries are considered to emphasize on a NatWest Pro40 match played in 2009 September, which was won by Essex won. In 2010 September, police communicated Kaneria that the inquiry had been finished and that he was cleared of all accusations. The spin-bowler was nominated for the Test series comprising of 2 matches that were to be played against South Africa. Though he was the part of training camp, the (PCB) Pakistan Cricket Board forbade him from appearing in the series. His exclusion was not accompanied by any reason. Later, he participated in the HBL Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, in which he secured 18 wickets in 2 games.

In February 2012, in the trials of Mervyn Westfield on spot fixing charges, he was termed as the man who came close to Westfield with this spot fixing idea. They were co-players at the happening time of this alleged approach. Later in 2012 June, ECB disciplinary panel found both players guilty of wrongdoings. As a result, Kaneria has been disqualified for his lifetime from playing in England and Wales by ECB. The PCB had formerly decided to stand by the decision of ECB. Kaneria filed an appeal against the life ban by the ECB for his connection to that particular spot-fixing scandal. This appeal against ECB decision was repudiated in 2013 July for the 2nd time. It was said that Kaneria did not make any admittance of guilt nor he uttered any regret for his wrongdoings, in spite of the heft of evidence contrary to him.

8. Lou Vincent

The substantiation got from the ACSU and Vincent specified that he initiated fixing in 2008 in the league which was titled officially the Indian Cricket League and infamous as the Indian Corruption League. Vincent confessed to be involved in fixing 4 ICL matches, usually by getting himself out as he got set on the crease. The player was habitual of sending the fixing confirmation by changing the color of his bat grip of changing the entire bat or by pulling away at the time when bowler used to start his run.

There are 2 major matches that went under suspicion. One match was played between Hyderabad Heroes and Chandigarh Lions on 26th Oct, 2008 while the 2nd match was ICL India XI vs. ICL World XI, in which he got stumped after playing 27 balls and securing only 28 score in the same year April. The commentary by Cricinfo’s for the 2nd match reported: “Syed Mohammad to Vincent, OUT, good deception there, he flights it slowly outside off and invites the loft, Vincent steps down and gets squared up by the flight, Khaleel has an easy stumping.” This out was followed by some run-outs. The rival team was given the target of 149 to chase. They started a strong chase, and the ICL World XI surprisingly lost the match by 10 runs.



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