ICC suspended Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir on 3/10/2010. Pakistanâ€™s High Commissioner in London Wajid Shamsul Hasan said Indian bookies had framed Pakistani cricketers and blamed Sharad Pawar for suspension. Mohammad Asifâ€™s former girlfriend Veena Malik had blamed Indian photographer Dheeraj Dixit for involvement in match-fixing.
Some Pakistanis see conspiracy in the sting operation by News of the World. They should see Pakistanâ€™s record of inexplicable losses over the years. There have been inquires, sometimes action taken against players for sometime, but most of the times players were back in the team. In 1999 Pakistan lost to Bangladesh in World Cup and Wasim Akram said â€œWe are happy to lose to our brothers.â€
Pakistani cricketers are in news for match-fixing and spot-fixing. That should not surprise. The way Pakistan had lost some matches was an indication that something was wrong.
Pakistanis have been caught but it is foolish to say only Pakistanis were involved in match-fixing and spot-fixing. Many matches involving different countries raise questions and sometimes the role of umpires needs to be probed. What is passed off as umpiring error could be match-fixing. It could have been going on since the last millennium.
When Sachin Tendulkar was to lead the Indian team to Australia one BCCI official predicted that India would lose the Test series 0-3 and that series witnessed many umpiring errors and India lost the series 0-3.
When Anil Kumble was captain and India toured Sri Lanka there was decision review system. The decisions went in favour of Sri Lankans though TV replays showed that Sri Lankan batsmen who were correctly ruled out by field umpires were ruled not out by the umpire on decision review system. After that series India did not want decision review system. Recently in an ODI Dharmasenaâ€™s three decisions were against India. Some felt India should have opted for decision review system. They were naive. All three decisions after review would have been against India.
Suraj Randiv bowling a no ball resulted in Virender Sehwag not getting a century and remaining not out on 99. Controversy followed. Suraj Randiv apologised to Virender Sehwag. Sri Lanka Cricket Board fined Suraj Randiv and suspended him for one match and fined Tilakaratne Dilshan for telling Suraj Randiv to bowl a no ball. Captain Kumara Sangakkara was warned to see that such incidents do not happen.
Many people talk of sportsman spirit but Virender Sehwag had kicked the ball beyond the boundary to deprive Hashim Amla the strike. Teams play to win matches. Bowlers donâ€™t make it easy for the batsman unless the match is fixed.
People presume Virender Sehwag would have hit a century because he hit the ball beyond boundary and it would have been a six if the match had not been over due to no ball. That is probability and not certainty. Virender Sehwag could have been out bowled, or caught and bowled, or LBW, or hit wicket or stumped. In a Test he had been out stumped.
With cricket being played throughout the year players getting injured is more frequent. Some cricketers want matches to be reduced so that they can have rest. BCCI has signed contracts and it will lose money if it cancels matches.
Very few players represent India in Tests, ODIs and T20. BCCI is ready to give rest to players who want. When Anil Kumble was Test captain and Sri Lanka series was played Mahendra Singh Dhoni had rest.
The tri-series involving India, New Zealand and Sri Lanka ends on 28/8/2010. Champions League in South Africa is from 10/9/2010 to 26/9/2010. India versus Australia series is from 1/10/2010 to 24/10/2010. India versus New Zealand series is from 4/11/2010 to 10/12/2010. India versus South Africa series is from 16/12/2010 to 23/1/2011. ODI World Cup begins on 19/2/2011.
India can have many teams. The players who play in Champions League can be rested for Australia series. When India plays home series it can have three teams: One for Tests, one for ODIs and one for T20. Players in one team will not be in other two teams. India is ranked no. 1 in Tests so the best players will be in Test team. For ODIs and T20 we can even have multiple teams with local teams representing India. If an ODI is in Nagpur, Vidarbha team can become India Team. If a T20 is in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh team can become India Team. Test players will not be part of local teams. Let us not worry about performance because India recently i.e., on 10/8/2010, lost to New Zealand by 200 runs and had at one time lost to Sri Lanka by 245 runs. For local players it is once in a life time opportunity and they will do their best and we may unearth talent. With matches being played all over the country players from different parts will get their turn. BCCI does not have to spend money on travel of players.
IPL was started to crush ICL. BCCI used its clout to get ICC ban players taking part in ICL. ICL had players from different countries. It was unfair to ban players taking part in ICL.
IPL got franchisees and sponsors. Players were auctioned. ICL suffered loss and disappeared.
Media gave good coverage to IPL. The telecast of matches was in the evening or at night. The matches provided entertainment and an alternative for movies and TV serials. People were fed up of K serials and they watched IPL.
On 10/3/2010 PCB imposed bans and fines on seven cricketers: Mohammed Yusuf, Younis Khan, Shoaib Malik, Rana Naved, Shahid Afridi, Kamran Akmal and Umar Akmal. This followed Pakistanâ€™s disastrous tour of Australia. During the tour Pakistanâ€™s performance was poor and it appeared some players did their level best to lose the matches.
Was there match-fixing? ICC anti-corruption unit was present during the tour but that doesnâ€™t mean much.
Did the players lose the matches because they did not like each other? Was there groupism? Whatever be the reasons the players had to be disciplined and PCB acted.
On 12/2/2010 the film My name is Khan opened for show in a few theatres at noon in Bombay. After two hours more theatres had opened and by night it was business as usual.
The filmâ€™s release was hanging in balance for the past two weeks. Shiv Sena had demanded apology from Shah Rukh Khan for his statement that Pakistani players should have been selected for IPL 3. If no apology they will not allow the film to be shown in Bombay. They had also said Bombay belongs to Marathi people and had criticised anyone who said Bombay belongs to all Indians. They had dared Rahul Gandhi to visit Bombay. If he came he will be shown black flags. Rahul Gandhi visited Bombay and travelled by local trains. Black flag demonstrators were arrested. Next day Shah Rukh Khan returned from abroad. He was given security from airport to home. Shiv Sena was dejected and would have given up the boycott. Sharad Pawar visited Bal Thackeray and that gave a boost to Shiv Sena which renewed the threat to boycott the film. They sent letters to theatre owners not to show the film.
India lost Nagpur Test by an Innings and 6 runs on 9/2/2010, fourth day of the Test. Indiaâ€™s Test ranking is No. 1 and South Africaâ€™s No. 2.
As per original tour programme South Africa was to play seven ODIs. India defeated Sri Lanka in Tests at the end of 2009 and attained No. 1 ranking in Tests. India wanted a change in the series to retain its No. 1 status and the series was changed to two Tests and five ODIs.
Lalit Modi, IPL Commissioner, said teams did not select any Pakistan player and only one player from Australia was selected. Team owners said they were not convinced of the availability of Pakistani players for the entire season or they had some other players in mind and such things. It was clear it was decided beforehand not to bid for Pakistani players. Pakistani players had faced visa problems in December 2009. That was the foretaste of things to come. If Pakistani players were not to be selected they should not have been included in the list.
Batsmen are for scoring runs. They have to be judged by the runs they score. Donald George Bradman is the greatest batsman.