Cricket is always considered a gentleman's game and is watched by a large audience. People spend thousands of bucks to watch their favorite team or player in action on the cricket field. But this game has tarnished the reputation and image of many cricketers and cricket. Many scandals involved many players who were guilty of cricket match-fixing. Match fixing adversely affects the mentality of the fans and cricket highlights with related content become a sensation at the earliest effect.
The reason why people get involved in match-fixing and game manipulation is because of personal or financial benefits. This contact usually happens between gamblers, players, team officials, or referees. Party A may bribe Party B to lose the match in exchange for money or valuable assets.
Cricket match fixing has severe implications for cricket at all levels.
Match fixing and game manipulation may include -
- Intentional underperformance by the athletes.
- Interference with the play, equipment, or playing conditions
- withdrawal from a match for non-genuine reasons
- Supporting a bet or making a bet regarding the match by officials.
There are many more reasons why match-fixing happens.
Ultimately, it is malpractice and is associated with corruption.
Top 10 Biggest Match-Fixing Scandals in Cricket
Here is the list of match-fixing scandals that have happened in the past.
- Hansie Cronje
One of the biggest cricket scandals involved Hansie Cronje, who was one of the best and most successful players from South Africa and was loved by all. This cricket match-fixing scandal rocked the international cricket fraternity in 2000 when Delhi Police revealed that they had recorded shady conversations between bookie Sanjay Chawla and cricketer Hansie Cronje.
He became a controversial topic after his involvement with Sanjay Chawla.
Initially, Cronje declined all the accusations thrown at him. But during cross-examination, he finally broke down.
In the end, Hansie Cronje was banned from cricket for life. And in 2002, Cronje died in a plane crash, which many people suspect was a planned murder.
- Maurice Odumbe
Maurice Odumbe was one of the leading players in the Kenyan cricket team of the 1996 Cricket World Cup. He also won the title of Man of the Match during Kenya's victory over West Indies.
In 2004, after suspecting him of match-fixing, the ICC investigated and found Odumbe guilty of taking bribes. As a result, he received a ban for five years.
Many believed that this ban would end his career, but in 2009, Odumbe began playing competitive cricket again at the domestic level.
- Marlon Samuels
Marlon Samuels was a part of the West Indies team when they won the ICC World Twenty20 (2012). But before that, in 2008, it was speculated that he handed out information regarding the team and its tactics and moved to a bookie ahead of the West Indies and India match in Nagpur in 2007.
Even though Samuel did not plead guilty, documented tapes of telephone conversations were sufficient evidence for a two-year ban on Samuels.
Following this brief ban period, Marlon Samuels returned to the field and built a high-flying career.
- Mervyn Westfield
Mervyn Westfield was involved in one of the greatest match-fixing scandals. After his confession, he became the first English cricketer convicted of spot-fixing.
The police imprisoned him under the suspicion of match irregularities in 2009's domestic season in 2012. He also admitted to accepting a £6,000 bribe for purposefully bowling wides.
In 2012, he went to prison for four months, and the English Cricket Board vetoed him for life from playing cricket in England and Wales.
- The No-Ball Scandal
In 2010, the cricketers of Pakistan's national cricket team were caught by a sting operation by the News of the World for accepting bribes from a bookmaker called Mazhar Majeed in return for playing no-balls. Three players – Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif, and Mohammad Amir were found guilty and banned by ICC for 5 to 10 years.
And in 2011, they were sent to jail for 6 to 32 months on charges of fraud and purposely playing no-ball in Test matches.
- Shane Warne & Mark Waugh
Famous Australian cricketers Shane Warner, and Mark Waugh were found to be exchanging information regarding the weather and pitch to John, the bookie in 1994-95.
This was also one of the greatest match-fixing scandals of the late 1900s. The Australian Cricket Board was originally impatient to brush the case under the carpet. In 1998 when the matter came to light, both Warne and Waugh upheld it, saying they never revealed strategic material.
- Salim Malik
Salim Malik was a highly admired and glorified Pakistani cricketer of the 80s and 90s who once even captained the team. But it only lasted until his involvement in the greatest match-fixing scandals came to light.
He became the first cricketer of the 21st century who acquired a ban for match Fixing.
Malik attained a ban during his captaincy after a cricket tour in South Africa and Zimbabwe. Authorities impeached him for accepting bribes, but he came off clean and continued playing.
After playing over 100 Test matches, Malik's career reached a standstill. Authorities found him guilty of Match Fixing Scandals In Cricket, and he received a ban for life after that.
- Mohammad Azharuddin
Mohammad Azharuddin was a brilliant batsman and an accomplished captain of the Indian Cricket Team throughout the 90s; however, he was condemned for match-fixing in 2000 by Hansie Cronje.
While Hansie Cronje was confessing, he also informed that Azhar was the one who acquainted him with bookies.
Consequently, the police found him guilty of fixing 3 ODIs. ICC and the BCCI then banned him for life.
Later, Azhar claimed he was being dragged into a conspiracy because he was Muslim.
In 2012, however, the Andhra Pradesh High Court lifted the ban.
- Indian Premier League
A match-fixing in a premier league in a country where cricket is worshiped is bound to happen.
During the 6th season of the Indian Premier League, the Delhi Police indicted three cricketers, Ajit Chandila, Ankeet Chavan, and S. Sreesanth of Rajasthan Royals, for their stake in spot-fixing.
The police also interrogated 23 others for betting and committing other illegal activities, including bookies, actors, and co-owners (like Vindu Dara Singh and Gurunath Meiyappan).
But with no solid evidence, many people, including Sreesanth and Chava, were released.
- Sandpaper Gate Incident
In 2018, the Australian player Cameron Bancroft was caught by TV cameras trying to harsh up one side of the ball with sandpaper to create it swing in flight.
Shortly after the incident got televised, Steve Smith and David Warner, the captain and vice-captain of the team, stepped down from their post and were given a 1-year ban. Cameron Bancroft was confined for nine months. Smith and Warner were also prohibited from being the captain of Australia forever.
Are you in search of some more information about cricket match fixing? If yes, then we at CBTF are here for you. IPL T20 videos that clearly indicate match fixing are watched again and again and these are not healthy for the spirit of the sport.