On Reflection

It's hard to believe that it's barely been three days since the only story in town broke. It already seems like weeks, but the dust has barely settled.

The best moment I've had over the last few days was reading on Cricinfo yesterday - while loitering around Horse Guards Parade, of all places - that the ICC has scope for leniency when it comes to the imposition of suspensions for activities such as 'spot-fixing', and that, should it come to it, they'll be able to take into account Mohammad Amir's youth and possible naivete, which may mean that he could end up with a ban of 'only' five years rather than something much longer. Immediately after the event I got caught up in the prevailing mood which seemed to be suggesting that a life ban was the only acceptable outcome, and the thought of that happening to Amir was starting to genuinely upset me.

So, the future may not be quite as bleak for Amir as it may seem. Or, then again, it might.

Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif appear different. They've been around for long enough to really know the implications of what they were doing, and for all my deep admiration for Asif's bowling, if it's shown that they were complicit in this I'll be happy to see them both out of the game for good.


Dean @ Cricket Betting Blog said...

Shane Watson said something along the lines of this, that he believed Amir was young and naive, he also used the word 'innocent' which I don't believe he meant.

I did think at first that there cannot be any excuse for this, and the fact that someone is a young prospect isn't a reason to show him leniency.

But when I thought about it more, Amir has only been in the side a few months. Would that be long enough to form a relationship of his own fruition with these dodgy individuals?

It is more than likely that this situation was impossed on him. It dosen't excuse it, but if it is proved that it was, then surely Amir's case should be given some special consideration.

What is a youngster supposed to do when his captain and a senior bowler are (alledgedly) signed up to this? And put pressure on him to become involved? If this is what happened, it would be putting him in an almost impossible situation.

It would have been a big call for him to say he wanted no part in it, and then what would he be supposed to do? Grass them up?

As for Asif, he's had enough chances in the past. If my memory serves me right he is not welcome in Dubai any more because of incidents with drugs. And I would say at a guess that Abu Dhabi and the rest of UAE wouldn't want him either. Which means he can't play in their series over there later this year.

What is the use in persisting with him any more?

As for Salman Butt, after all the positive plaudits he received, it is a massive disappointment to see him alledgedly involved as well

Brian Carpenter said...

It'll be interesting - to put it mildly - to see how it all turns out. While nobody's in the habit of pleading guilty to this sort of thing, it'd be interesting to see how they explain away the evidence.

The alleged involvement of Butt is suprising and disappointing. Geoff Lawson said in the Sydney Morning Herald that he'd be surprised because of what he knows about Butt's character, but he may well be wrong.

It'll also be interesting to see whether any evidence emerges about splits in the camp between 'fixers' and 'non-fixers'. While walking back to our hotel at the end of Saturday's play I mentioned to the friend I was with that I wouldn't be surprised if something had gone on in the dressing room as they seemed so demoralised. You may have seen that I drew attention to Mohammad Yousuf, who looked a shadow of the player he was at The Oval. Had he just heard what was going on and, as the oldest player in the side with the longest career, thought 'here we go again'?

Dean @ Cricket Betting Blog said...

Hi Brian,

With the news that a 4th player has been arrested and that a player has been on the radar of ICC for a month or so now, I wonder if this may have something to do with the captaincy of the Sydney test match?

After this weeks revalations that test match looks worse than ever now. I remember at the time hearing Ian Chappell questioning the tactics of the Pakistan team, and in particular the captaincy, in fact he slaughtered it.

Even if he wasn't involved, as captain at the time Mohammad Yousuf must be now be under serious scrutiny, that may well be a big part of the reason why he cut the figure you described.

He may be innocent, and I hope he is, but if the game was thrown, he is going to get dragged into things.

Brian Carpenter said...

Thanks, Dean, and sorry for the delay in replying. It's obvious that a number of past games will come under scrutiny now, and Sydney's bound to be one of the main ones.

You have to doubt whether the authorities will be able to get to the bottom of it, though, unless someone decides to come clean, admit to everything and voluntarily end their career in the process. Not very likely.

Dean @ Cricket Betting Blog said...

Very true Brian. If a wall of silence goes up then it will be hard to prove much.

From what we have seen so far it would appear no one looks likely to hold their hands up to this one either.

I see John Higgins got found not guilty of match fixing or attempting to fix a match in the snooker, this just goes to show how hard these things are to prove.

And apparently the video that NOTW released to the public of Higgins was edited, and the full video was shown at his hearing.

It makes you wonder, is it really hard to prove it? Or is the edited video we get shown misleading and that when the true story emerges it paints a very different picture to the one that NOTW portrays publicly?

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