Peter Roebuck, cricket writer and commentator, died on 12/11/2011. Officially his death is a suicide. He was questioned about sexual assault at 9 p.m. At 9.15 p.m. he jumped to death from his sixth floor window.
There is reason to suspect foul play. The death came after Cape Town Test which had inexplicable batting collapses on 10/11/2011, second day of the Test. For the second time in Test history four Innings were played on a single day, two in full and two in part. Most of the wickets fell after lunch and before tea. Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis were ruled not out by field umpire and on DRS appeal out by third umpire. Mark Boucher was ruled out by field umpire and on DRS appeal there was no reversal. It is possible that the Test was fixed and Peter Roebuck knew about it. His death could be a murder. On 17/3/2007 Pakistan lost to Ireland and next day Pakistanâ€™s Coach Robert Andrew Woolmer was dead. He was once coach of South Africa.
On 3/11/2011 for the first time cricketers were sent to jail for spot-fixing. Salman Butt was sentenced to two years and six months imprisonment. He was the captain. Mohammad Asif was sentenced to one year imprisonment. Mohammad Amir was sentenced to six months detention. He was 18 years old when he bowled the no ball. Mazhar Majeed the fixer was sentenced to two years and eight months imprisonment.
On earlier occasions cricketers found guilty of match-fixing were banned for life or for some years. There was no imprisonment. In this case it happened in England. Southwark Crown Court in London sentenced the cricketers to jail. The punishment could have been seven years for accepting corrupt payments. The cricketers got off lightly. Other countries can follow Englandâ€™s example and prosecute cricketers involved in match-fixing or spot-fixing. In India they can be prosecuted for cheating and criminal breach of trust or treason. There is no need for a separate law for match-fixing or spot-fixing. In England the cricketers were prosecuted for conspiracy to cheat and accepting corrupt payments.
Q: You said Pakistanis are large-hearted, Indians are not. What do you mean?
A: Pakistanis are ready to lose matches for friendship. We lost semi-final at Mohali and showed our large-heartedness. We dropped Sachin Tendulkar four times. We could have scored the winning runs. It was not difficult for us to score 261 runs. We did not score and allowed India to win.
Q: Poor fielding and batting is not a sign of large-heartedness. Kamran Akmal on an average drops two catches in every match.
A: Kamran Akmalâ€™s heart is larger than other Pakistanis. His heart is the largest in Pakistan. Behind every successful man there is a woman. Behind every successful batsman there is Kamran Akmal. But against India other fielders dropped catches. We showed our friendship. About batting, even in the last over we could have won. Misbah-ul-Haq could have hit five sixers consecutively and Pakistan would have won. Instead he did not score a single run and gifted his wicket.
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.