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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Cronje and Azhar,and before and after

Shamik Chakrabarty traces the history of fixing

Written by Shamik Chakrabarty | Published: May 17, 2013 2:10:39 am


In 1997,Manoj Prabhakar alleged an “unknown team member” had tried to bribe him to underperform in three matches against Pakistan in Sharjah and Colombo,and one against West Indies,at various times.

The probe: The BCCI set up a one-man commission under Justice Y V Chandrachud,who concluded there was no plausible reason why Prabhakar had to wait years to report these. Sanjay Manjrekar’s statement contradicted Prabhakar’s on the events in Sharjah. Prabhakar had also made allegations against Azharuddin about fixing a toss,which were found incorrect.

The first blow

In 1998,during a series in Pakistan,reports surfaced that Australia’s Mark Waugh and Shane Warne had allegedly been paid by an Indian bookmaker to provide him information on pitch and weather. The same year,Waugh and Warne alleged that then Pakistan captain Salim Malik had attempted to bribe them to lose matches. Malik also faced allegations of match-fixing during tours to New Zealand and Sri Lanka in 1993-94 and 1994-95,and attempts during the Mandela Trophy in South Africa in 1994-95 and a 1994 series against Australia.

The probes: The Australian board and the ICC fined Waugh and Warneand let them off with a warning. Pakistan suspended Malik,then cleared him. Later,a commission under Justice Qayyum probed allegations against Malik,Ata-ur-Rehman,Wasim Akram,Waqar Younis,Mushtaq Ahmed,Saeed Anwar and Inzamam-ul-Haq. Malik was found guilty of match-fixing against Australia and banned for life,and fined £12,000. Rehman too got a life ban. Akram and Ahmed were fined £3,700 each and described as “not above board”. Younis,Anwar and Inzamam were fined £1,200 and their finances probed.

Cronje & Azhar

Several careers,the biggest ones being those of Mohammad Azaharuddin and Hansie Cronje,ended in a scandal arising out of a Delhi police revelation in April 2000. Police said they had the recording of a mobile conversation between South Africa captain Cronje and an Indian bookmaker,apparently introduced by former India captain Azharuddin. Cronje allegedly divulged information about team strategy. Herschelle Gibbs,Nicky Boje and Pieter Strydom came under probe for throwing matches.

The probes: The Indians were probed by the CBI and then a panel headed by CBI joint director K Madhavan. The South Africans were probed by the Justice King commission. The CBI and Madhavan probes found Azharuddin “contributed substantially” to expanding the player-bookmaker nexus,and Manoj Prabhakar,Ajay Sharma and Ajay Jadeja guilty of match-fixing. The Madhavan panel upheld most of the initial CBI findings,and concluded that physio Ali Irani had acted as a “conduit” between the players and bookies,but exonerated Nayan Mongia of fixing charges. Azharuddin and Sharma were given life bans. Jadeja and Prabhakar were suspended for five years each; Jadeja had the ban overturned by the Delhi High Court in 2003.

Before the King Commission,Cronje revealed the transactions he had been involved in,while Gibbs and others declared how Cronje had offered them various amounts to underperform. Cronje was banned for life. Gibbs and Henry Williams were banned for the rest of the year.

Marlon Samuels

Indian police alleged that West Indies middle-order batsman Marlon Samuels had passed on team information to an Indian bookmaker during a 2002-03 tour of India.

The Probe: Samuels was given a two-year ban in 2008 by the West Indies board for “bringing the game into disrepute”. He is back in the team.

The 3 Pakistanis

It was the first major scandal involving spot fixing. Pakistani cricketers Salman Butt,Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif were convicted of taking bribes from a bookmaker,Mazhar Majeed,to underperform at specific times during a Test match at Lord’s in 2010. A News of the World sting operation revealed that Amir and Asif deliberately bowled no-balls as part of their deal with the bookmaker. Butt,who was the captain,allegedly negotiated for the others. In fact,Butt was named the orchestrator of the plot.

The Probe: Scotland Yard was involved in the probe. It arrested bookmaker Mazhar Majeed and two unidentified men and a woman on suspicion of money laundering. The ICC banned Butt for 10 years with five of these years suspended. Asif was banned for seven years with two years suspended,while Amir was banned for five years. The bans remain in effect. They were also found guilty by a London court on criminal charges and along with bookmaker Majeed,were given prison sentences,ranging from six months to 32 months.

What happened to them

The biggest casualties

Hansie Cronje

Found guilty of divulging to bookmakers team strategy in matches against India. Banned for life,has since died

Herschelle Gibbs

Found guilty in same scandal as Cronje,he was banned for the rest of the year. He came back to the team later

Mohammad Azharuddin

Named by Cronje,banned for life for alleged nexus with bookies. Now an MP. Court recently held the ban illegal

Ajay Jadeja

Banned for five years,along with Manoj Prabhakar. Jadeja’s ban later quashed in court. Ajay Sharma banned for life along with Azharuddin

The Pak trio

Salman Butt,Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif

All three remain banned for spot-fixing during a Test match against England at Lord’s in 2010. They were awarded varying jail terms by a London court before being banned. The ban on Butt is of 10 years with five of these years suspended,that on Asif is of seven years with two years suspended,and that on Amir is of five years

Salim Malik

Along with Ata-ur-Rehman,banned for life for alleged fixing in a series with Australia. Was also accused of trying to bribe Australians Mark Waugh and Shane Warne,who were probed by their board and fined

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