Mar 22, 2012

As You Like It

An hour before I started writing this post, Bangladesh came very close to winning the Asia Cup for the first time. Unfortunate fellows, lost the thrilling final by just 2 runs. The match report is here but you are not interested in reading it, are you? Anyway, I wanted to write about something else that spoiled the sheer fun of watching cricket these days. Match Fixing, or Spot Fixing or Whatever damn thing you might call it. Every close game & unexpected outcomes are bluntly attributed to this thing called "match fixing".

India wins? "Huh, they fixed this game. See how many drop catches". India loses? "They are playing for money. This is fixed. I know.", they say undoubtedly, as if they are from the 007 family. This increasing obsession with this phrase finally pushed one of the laziest bloggers (that is me, if you haven't realized it yet!) to write about it. Fixing was, and is there but not as blatant as how people claim it to be. My dad told me one day, when speaking about that elusive 100th Hundred, this:
"He is delaying it intentionally. This is all well planned. If he keep getting out, the odds of him getting it in the next game will keep going down. Once everyone starts believing he is not going to get there, he will eventually get there".
 So that might be 0.01% true or say, 99.9% true. Whatever you want it to be. Neither am I from the 007 Family, and I don't know either. The sheer logic of betting is playing for the impossible and win after it happens. The history dates back to 1983 when the first unexpected outcome started it all. India reached the Prudential world cup finals as underdogs against the 2-time champ West Indies. As it eventually turned out, India went on to become the first country to win the World cup after WI. Whoever put their money on India, as less as it should've been, eared lot of money out of it. Is that game fixed? Who knows, or who cares,  anyway.

Unexpected results kept coming then on but no one bothered much. It was on 7 April 2000, Delhi police revealed they had a recording of a conversation between Hansie Cronje and Sanjay Chawla, a representative of an Indian betting syndicate, over match-fixing allegations. Gibbs revealed that Cronje had offered him $15,000 to score less than 20 runs in the 5th ODI at Nagpur. Actually, Gibbs scored 74 off 53 balls in that game. More stories unfolded, and it eventually led to people start believing in fixing. This spoiled the love for the game. Many of those whom I met admitted that they quit following the game after such controversies surmounted. "Do they think we look like a fool to them? We watch and support with so much of passion, and they just get money and lose", is the standard  anger expression from them. 

So tell me one thing. What IF all the games you watch are fixed? To me, it doesn't matter at all. Cricket is purely an entertainment to  me. If it can thrillingly go till the last over and keep me enthralled, I am fine with every game being 'FIXED'. Didn't people like that Death Race movie in which Joan Allen (who played the role of Hennesey) fixed the outcome of every race? Or take the most watched sport on YouTube: WWE. Once called as World Wrestling Federation became World Wrestling Entertainment after they started 'directing' every match. None of those fights you see on TV is real. Still people like it, aren't they?

The world's most watched sport on YouTube
This blog will in no way change the way people see cricket. Same applies to me. As long as it is fun-filled I am fine with it being fixed. I could  recollect the first two lines of a high-school text book poem by Shakespeare. It went like this:  All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players


  1. Yes, there is nothing wrong with enjoying cricket. But comparing it to WWE is not fair. WWE has in its very abbreviation the word 'Entertainment'. People know for a fact that its just for fun. Cricket is a sport, not a mere entertainment. Its like comparing a turtle race to the 100 meter sprint in olympics. One is for pure fun & the other is competition.

    Shakespeare's line doesn't mean that we are living a lie. He meant that we have to take on different roles in different stages of our life. Remember the poem? It explains the seven ages of man, like the Basha song.. :P If you apply that to cricket, it would probably mean something like "When Sachin started his international career, he was this aggressive not so reliable player. Later, he matured & learned to play defensive to handle tough situations. Then he become a person on whom the team can rely on for scores.. blah blah.."

    Not all matches are fixed but some players in some matches are.. Considering the amount of passion this country pours into cricket, its obvious that feelings get hurt when it comes to light that something was fixed.

  2. Good one Deepak. Cricket is definitely a competition but I personally consider it as an entertainment. Just that I want to have some good time when I watch a game. Not many proud Indian cricket fans will see it this way!


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