As was the case with the Pakistan cricketers in 2010,three Rajasthan Royals players have now been arrested for spot-fixing. So does this mean that like Mohammad Amir,Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif,S Sreesanth,Ajit Chandila and Anikit Chavan,facing similar charges? They too might end up facing criminal charges and,if found guilty,end up in jail? Thats where these two similar cases might just take a different route.
When Mohammad Amir over-stepped to bowl that very obvious pre-decided no-ball in exchange of cash,he was indirectly defrauding the bookmakers. Thats because those who were in the know about the timing of Amirs no-ball could have betted on it and made money. Suddenly,cricket wasn’t quite a game of glorious uncertainty. And since betting is legal in UK,there are laws that protect the bookmakers business.
In India though,the betting market is much bigger than in UK but it is an underground enterprise. Bookies clandestinely operate from their shady dens and have intricate and extensive networks that are connected to the punters on the street. Thus,there are no legalities in this illegal business.
Thats the reason several Indian cricketers in the past,despite full evidence of cheating against them,have escaped time behind bars. They do get tainted for life,they also suffer shame and,at best,they get banned from cricketing activities for a limited period of time. But like Mohammad Azharuddin or Ajay Jadeja,they gradually return to the fold and eventually reclaim respectability too.
It remains to be seen how the Delhi Police deals with the present case. But in the absence of specific laws relating to match or spot-fixing,they will have their hands tied.
The present case also points to the fact that the cricket administrators have once again failed to police the game. If it was the media sting operation that exposed the Pakistan cricketers,it is the Delhi Police who have blown the lid off spot-fixing in IPL. Like in the past,crickets anti-corruption unit has been caught napping.