Ads 468x60px

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Salman Butt becomes 5th captain to be punished

After Salim Malik, Muhammad Azharuddin, Maurice Odumbe and late Hansie Cronje, Salman Butt is now the fifth Cricket captain since May 2000, who has been punished by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for bringing the 134-year old Game of Gentlemen into disrepute and throwing away matches for the greed of money.

While Muhammad Asif becomes the only cricketer to get a seven-year ban, his fellow fast bowler Muhammad Amir is the fourth player who has been prohibited to play the game for five years along with Manoj Prabharkar, Ajay Jadeja and Maurice Odumbe.

While the 26-year old Salman Butt had scored 1,761 runs in 29 test matches with three hundreds and a batting average of 32.75 per innings, the 28-year old Asif had bagged 105 wickets in 22 test matches.

Meanwhile, the 18-year old Muhammad Amir had captured 51 scalps in 14 tests.

Former Pakistan skipper, Saleem Malik, goes down in cricket history as the first of a number of international cricketers to be handed over a life ban for match fixing during the turn of the 20th century.

Fast bowler Ata-ur-Rehman was also penalized along with Malik nearly 11 years ago.

In 103 test matches, Malik had scored 5,768 runs with 15 centuries at a batting average of 43.69 per innings.

Banned for keeping contacts with bookmakers and taking dirty money from them, Malik’s life ban were overturned in 2008 by court, but not before his career was virtually over.

Former Indian captain, Muhammad Azharuddin, is yet another disgraced international team skipper who had fallen from grace on charges quite similar to those laid down against Salim Malik.

Azharuddin, who had scored 6,215 runs at an average of 45.04 per innings with 22 hundreds in 99 Test matches, has been vehemently denying all allegations leveled against him in this context and had moved court as well to unsuccessfully prove his innocence.

The life ban had cost Azhar a chance of joining the 100 Test club, as he was left stranded on 99 Test matches.

Azharuddin joined the Indian National Congress party in 2009, contested the Indian general election that year and won the ballot exercise by defeating his BJP rival Sarvesh Kumar Singh with a margin of more than 50,000 votes.

Match fixing in Cricket had first surfaced in the year 2000 when the New Delhi police had intercepted a telephonic conversation between a blacklisted local bookie and a former South African captain Hansie Cronje.

The intercepted phone call had then led the Indian authorities to believe that the late cricketer had accepted bribes to throw matches.

Though the South African government had refused to allow any of its players to face the Indian sleuths in 2000, Cronje later admitted before a court that he did throw games for money. He was immediately banned from all forms of the game.

During his investigation, it was Cronje who had given the names of Saleem Malik, Mohammed Azharuddin and Ajay Jadeja, contending they were also involved in the heinous business.

Voted the 11th Greatest South African in 2004, despite having been banned for life from professional cricket for his role in a match-fixing saga, Cronje had scored 3,714 runs in 68 Test matches with an average of 36.41. While middle-order batsman Ajay Jadeja and fast bowler Manoj Prabharkar of India were banned for five years each from international cricket, Jadeja’s ban was overturned by an Indian court in 2003.

Meanwhile, Manoj Prabharkar did try to implicate former Indian Captain Kapil Dev and others in 2000, but his plan had backfired after he was found guilty of match-fixing himself.

Months that followed also saw Australian greats Mark Waugh and Shane Warne alleged of accepting money for offering information about the weather and pitch information to a bookmaker called John, but they were spared by their cricket board after they had paid minor penalties.

Other international cricketers who had found relatively less harsh penalties slapped on them due to their roles in match fixing, include Herschelle Gibbs and Henry Williams (banned for six months each), Maurice Odumbe of Kenya (banned for five years), Marlon Samuels of West Indies (banned for two years).

The former Kenyan skipper Maurice Odumbe, who scored 1,409 runs in 61 one day internationals at an average of 26.09 per innings and taking 39 wickets for his country, was suspended from cricket in August 2004 after being found guilty of receiving money from bookmakers.

It should still be fresh in the memories of sports lovers that various Pakistan’s cricketing greats of yore, including Messrs Saeed Anwar, Ejaz Ahmed, Wasim Akram, Mushtaq Ahmed, Waqar Younus and Inzimam-ul-Haq were also accused on similar counts in the past. They, however, had managed to save their blushes as even if there was some evidence against them in this regard, it did not catch the eye of the ICC. 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...