When it comes to match fixing, cricket, unfortunately, has had more than its fair share. The profit for shady syndicates and players that do it and get away with it can be absolutely huge. However, those who are caught are, and rightfully so, punished severely. In this article, we are going to take a look at some of the most high-profile match-fixing that has occurred in this gentleman’s guide. We will start with some well-known Indian cases and then take a look at international ones.
Five Match Fixing Scandals Involving Indian Cricketers
Azharuddin was a great player and captain, which is why it is such a shame that he tainted his reputation by getting involved in a huge match-fixing scandal. In the year 2000, South Africa was touring India and, on the 7th April, the Delhi police released a recording of a conversation between Hansie Cronje, the South Africa captain, and Sanjay Chawla, an Indian betting syndicate representative.
On the 15th June, Cronje finally gave a statement that heavily implicated Azharuddin. Cronje stated that Azharuddin introduced him to Mukesh Gupta in 1996, who offered him $30,000 to throw wickets away to lose a test match. South Africa reached 127/5, chasing 460, but Cronje was adamant that he had actually spoken to nobody. When India next toured South Africa, Cronje sold Gupta team information for $50,000.
Azharuddin’s connections with the betting underworld emerged and his career, in which he had scored 22 test centuries, 7 ODI centuries and 15,500 international runs, was over. He was banned from playing cricket for life in 2000.
Shanthakumaran Nair Sreesanth
Sreesanth was one of the finest fast bowlers that India has ever produced. No Indian fan will ever forget his 5 wickets for 40 runs as South Africa were bowled out for a mere 84, but he is now remembered by everyone else for the wrong reasons.
In May 2013, he was arrested for spot-fixing during a particular IPL match and he later admitted his guilt. He declared that he was given 40 lakh to bowl a fixed no-ball against Kings XI Punjab. He used a towel to let the bookies know that he was about to bowl the no-ball.
The BCCI banned him from cricket for life, and this ban has still not been lifted despite the fact that he was acquitted in 2015.
Trivedi took nine wickets in the 2002 U-19 World Cup, which led to him being given a scholarship to improve his skills in Australia. He was also included in the India B squad for the Challenger Trophy in 2003.
During the very first edition of the Indian Premier League, he played for the Rajasthan Royals and was a key figure in helping them become champions. His captain, Shane Warne, had nothing but praise for the youngster which was a clear sign of his talent.
However, he was later questioned by the police and eventually admitted to having accepted 3 lakh from Sunil Bhatia and Deepak Sharma. He did return the money, but his failure to report the fact that he had been approached by illegal bookies led to a one-year ban.
He has since failed to revive his career.
Chavan, who played for the Rajasthan Royals, will be forever remembered for match fixing rather than any of his on-field antics.
On the 6th of May 2013, Chavan was arrested, with it later emerging that he was given 6 million Indian rupees to conceded 14 runs in one over against the Mumbai Indians. He conceded 15 in his second over of the match.
While he was being interrogated, he broke down and confessed his guilt. He was given a life ban. The Mumbai Cricket Association later paid him 32 lakh for compassionate reasons, which is an act that was looked down upon by the BCCI.
Srivastava was the highest wicket-taker at the 2000 U-19 Cricket World Cup with 14 wickets to his name. He was signed up by Kings XI Punjab, but a sting operation destroyed his blossoming career. In this operation, he admitted that he received black money from franchises and that he would be happy to spot-fix if the price was high enough.
When these tapes emerged, the BCCI banned him from cricket for five years. He has not been able to resurrect his career.
Five Cricket Match Fixing Scandals from Around the World
Pakistani Spot Fixing in 2010
In August 2010, English newspapers alleged that Pakistan bowlers Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif bowled no-balls deliberately during their tour of England for large sums of money.
Amir was told to bowl a no-ball for the third delivery of the first over, which is exactly what he did. In fact, he made perfectly sure that it would be called a no-ball by overstepping by some distance. Asif was told to bowl a no-ball for the final delivery of the tenth over, which he did.
Mazhar Majeed was the bookmaker involved in this scandal, and he was later arrested and charged with defrauding bookmakers. He was eventually sentenced to two years and eight months in jail.
Salman Butt, who was the Pakistani captain at the time, was also implemented in the betting scandal.
At the beginning of 2011, Amir, Asif, and Butt were banned from playing cricket for 5, 7, and 10 years. In November the same year, Amir was jailed for 6 months, Asif was jailed for a year, and Butt was jailed for two years and 6 months.
Mohammad Ashraful’s Shame
Ashraful admitted to losing a match in the 2013 Bangladesh Premier League on purpose in return for $12,800. The match was between Chittagong Kings and Dhaka Gladiators, but Ashraful didn’t even receive his money as the cheque he received bounced.
Ten days later his team played the Barisal Burners and lost by 7 wickets. It is believed that he threw this match as well.
He was found guilty in 2014 and was banned from cricket for eight years. This sentence was later reduced to five years (two suspended). His ban was partially lifted in 2016, allowing him to play domestic cricket, and he was allowed to play international cricket again in 2018.
Lou Vincent Has a Rap Sheet as Long as His Arm
Vincent has probably been involved in more match fixing than any other cricketer. At the end of 2013, he was being investigated due to suspected involvement in dozens of spot-fixing cases, including games in the ECB 40, the Indian Cricket League, the Champions League Twenty20, and the Bangladesh Premier League.
In June the following year, he was found guilty by the Bangladesh Cricket Board of not reporting illegal gambling activities to them. He was banned for three years. In July of the same year, the England and Wales Cricket Board gave him a lifetime ban from all cricket.
Vincent later admitted his guilt and said that he had been involved in a lot of match fixing.
Spot-Fixing in the Pakistan Super League
Spot-fixing is a common thing in the Pakistan Super League it would seem. Sharjeel Khan, Nasir Jamshed, Khalid Latif, Mohammad Nawaz, and Mohammad Irfan have all been banned for their involvement in match fixing.
Khan was banned for five years in 2014, Jamshed was banned for 10 years in 2018, Khalif was banned for five years in 2017, while Nawaz and Irfan were both banned for 6 months in 2017.
Lonwabo Tsotsobe Ruined His Playing Career
Tsotsobe threw away his cricket career when he decided to do a spot of match fixing during the 2015-16 Ram Slam T20 Challenge. He was charged and found guilty and was banned by Cricket South Africa for a period of eight years.
He is well aware that his playing days are over, but he hopes that he will be given a second chance in the cricketing world so that he can mentor young children and give something back to South African cricket as an apology for his misdemeanours.
Australia and Their Ball-Tampering Scandal
This isn’t exactly match fixing, but it is a scandal that angered the cricketing world in 2018. Therefore, we thought it deserved a mention.
During a test match in Cape Town, television cameras caught Cameron Bancroft roughing up one side of the ball with sandpaper in order to try and create reverse swing. He realised that he had been caught on camera and tried to hide the object in his trousers.
At the press conference later that day, Bancroft, accompanied by his captain, Steve Smith, confessed that he had been trying to alter the ball’s condition using adhesive tape with dirt stuck to it. Cricket Australia investigated the incident and found that he had actually been using sandpaper.
Smith admitted that this was something that they had come up with during the break for lunch, but he didn’t mention any other names. Bancroft received three demerit points and lost 75% of his match fee, while Smith was banned from their next test match, give four demerit points and charged all of his match fee. However, this wasn’t to be the end of the matter.
Their brazen attempt to cheat was something that the cricketing world could scarcely believe. In fact, it was so widely condemned that Cricket Australia felt the need to open more investigations. After their investigations were finished, Smith was handed a one-year suspension from all cricket and is not allowed to captain a team until a year has passed after his suspension ends. Bancroft was handed a 9-month ban from all cricket and was also handed a 12-month captaincy ban.
David Warner was also found to be involved in the scandal, so he was handed a one-year ban from cricket and will never be considered for captaincy roles again.
Darren Lehman was found to have no idea about the plan to use sandpaper to rough up the ball, but he decided that it was in his and Australia Cricket’s best interest to step down.
All three cricketers apologised on national TV for their inexcusable behaviour, but it something that they will stick with them for the rest of their lives.