Tag: Pakistani cricketers

Death of Peter Roebuck

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 Pakistan’s Coach Robert Andrew Woolmer was dead. He was once coach of South Africa.

It is necessary to investigate betting on Cape Town Test. Who were the bookies? What were the odds on Australia winning, South Africa winning and draw? What were the odds on scores by teams and individuals? What were the odds on wickets by bowlers? What were the odds on the Test getting over by the third day? Who gained and who lost and how much by betting on the outcomes? We need to know the answers.

The death also comes in the backdrop of three Pakistani cricketers serving sentences for spot-fixing, two in jail and one in detention centre. If Peter Roebuck had exposed spot-fixing it could have been jail for all involved.

It is easy to target a whistleblower with a sex crime as happened in the case of Julian Assange. Peter Roebuck is not alive to give his version about the accusation of sexual assault. Truth about Peter Roebuck must come out.

Cricketers in jail

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 England’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.

Spot-fixing was exposed by News of the World which closed down some months back due to the revulsion caused by its phone-hacking of a dead victim. ICC’s anti-corruption unit did not discover any match-fixing or spot-fixing. Veena Malik had exposed Mohammad Asif’s connection to an Indian bookie and no action was taken.

Jail term will act as a deterrent to cricketers who want to engage in illegal activities. They may not think much about ban for a few years or a life ban but going to jail is not a prospect they relish.

Besides cricketers, umpires and officials also should be investigated for match-fixing or spot-fixing. There have been dubious decisions or wrong decisions. Sometimes officials interfere in the game. The investigation can begin with Jaywant Lele who had predicted India would lose Test series 0-3 in Australia when Sachin Tendulkar was the captain. Either he was a match-fixer or he knew the match-fixers. The argument that it was a coincidence that his prediction came true is not valid. There are no coincidences.

Interview with a Pakistani cricketer

(This interview is imaginary.)
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 Akmal’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.

Q: Misbah-ul-Haq could not have done it. In 2007 Twenty20 final Pakistan had to score six runs off four balls and his reverse scoop resulted in defeat for Pakistan.
A: That shows his large-heartedness towards India.

Q: India had met Pakistan four times in World Cup before the Mohali match and had won all four matches. India defeating Pakistan in World Cup is not new.
A: India had met Pakistan twice at Mohali and both times Pakistan had won the matches. We had defeated Australia and Sri Lanka in group matches.

Q: New Zealand defeated Pakistan.
A: That was our large-heartedness, especially of Kamran Akmal. We wanted New Zealand to cheer up. They were demoralized after their defeat to Australia.

Q: You have said Indian media is negative.
A: Indian media was against Pakistani cricketers. They did not see the match as a game but projected as a battle. They talked of us as enemies.
The government of India has banned adult films and adult programmes on TV. If anybody complains that there is nudity or some indecent scene the channel is banned for a week. India claims to be a democracy and says there is freedom of speech and expression but it is the first country to ban anything. Pakistani media is liberal. Indian TV channels edited what Kim Clijsters said to Todd Woodbrige after the Australian Open match. Pakistani media is positive. India was liberal some years back. Indian media is negative about books which no one has read and they are banned. Indian media is negative about some TV serials and they are asked to shift their slot.
I love India. I like to play in India. But there are people who say we will not allow Pakistanis to play in our city. If any actor says something good about Pakistan the theatres showing his films are threatened. IPL franchisees were told not to bid for Pakistanis. But we love India. We will have PPL on the model of IPL. We will build new cities and name them Bombay, Calcutta, Madras and so on. We will have teams like Bombay Brigadiers, Calcutta Colonels, Madras Majors. We will invite Indians to play in Pakistan. We will have better cheerleaders and will not tell them that they have to wear ghaghras as Rajasthan’s chief minister Ashok Gehlot has told Shilpa Shetty.
If any Indian politician says anything good about Pakistan it ruins his political career. Lal Krishna Advani came to Pakistan and said some good things about Jinnah and he had to quit as party president and leader of the opposition. Jaswant Singh wrote a book and the book was banned and he was expelled from his party.
We had been good to India. History has witnessed Pakistan’s generosity towards India. In 1980 Asif Iqbal declared Pakistan’s Innings 40 runs short of India’s score. In 1985 when India were all out for 125 Pakistanis were all out for 86. In 2004 Pakistanis lost the Test series and ODI series against India in Pakistan.

Q: There are match-fixing allegations against Pakistani cricketers.
A: Our players do it for friendship. Money is bonus.

Q: You said a third country creates problems between India and Pakistan.
A: It is USA. They do not want friendly relations between India and Pakistan. They scuttled Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline. Americans bomb our people and kill civilians. Americans are the most hated people in Pakistan and that is no mean achievement. An American was involved in 26/11. He is safe in USA and India is quiet about it.

Q: You said there is no point in Yousuf Raza Gilani and Manmohan Singh talking.
A: Indo-Pak talks have gone on for years. We don’t move forward. We move in circles. We say “Solve the Kashmir dispute.” You say “There is no dispute about Kashmir. Kashmir is ours.” We say “Call it an issue. Solve the Kashmir issue.” You say “You stop cross-border terrorism.” We say “There is no terrorism in Kashmir. Freedom fight is going on there.” We say “Kashmir is in our blood.” You say “Our blood runs in Kashmir.” We end where we begin.

Q: Even if there is no positive outcome the talks keep the temperature down.
A: Then it goes up again. People of India should wait till the next elections in Pakistan.

Q: Why?
A: I will form a political party, Large-Hearted Party. Heart will be the symbol of that party. We will contest elections and win them and form the government. I will be the President of Pakistan.

Q: Your statements keep changing according to time and place. At one time you praised India, Indians, Indian films and TV serials. After some days you criticized the same.
A: My wife was with me at the time when I praised India. She likes Indian films and TV serials. When I am with her I watch Indian films and TV serials. When alone, I watch Hollywood films. Films like About Last Night, Striptease, Basic Instinct, Diabolique and Wild Orchid are my favourites.

Q: Are you afraid of your wife?
A: I am the boss of my house and I have my wife’s permission to say so.

Q: What do you feel about Indian victory?
A: I am glad because one Indian model had said if India win she will take off her clothes. I have not seen her photograph in birthday suit. If you come across the photograph send it to me. Don’t tell my wife.

Q: She is standing behind you with a rolling pin in her hand.
A: God save me.