Cricket is a great sport that is highly popular throughout the world. However, when a sport is popular, there is something negative that often comes with it, and that is match fixing. Any cricket fan will know that the sport has had its fair share of match fixing over the years, and the ICC have been trying to stamp it out of the game for a long while now, but it is not an easy feat to do.
High Profile Cases of Match Fixing
A match fixing scandal that all cricket fans will remember is the no-ball scandal in a test match series between England and Pakistan. Pakistani captain Salman Butt had made a deal with an undercover journalist posing as an illegal bookmaker for his bowlers to bowl three deliberate no-balls in the test at Lord’s. Sure enough, his bowlers Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif both bowled big no balls at certain stages in the innings. Nobody thought anything of it at the time as bowlers bowl no-balls quite often, but a few days later the footage evidence was released by the undercover journalist, and the cricketing world was shaken.
The three of them were arrested for their part in the crime, and they were all jailed and banned from playing for Pakistan. Mohammed Amir was just 18 at the time, so he got quite a bit of sympathy and was shown a lot more leniency as it is believed that he was manipulated by Butt to take part in the scandal. He has since be re-integrated back into the Pakistan team, but there is no way back for Butt or Asif as by the time their international cricket ban is up, they will be considered too old to play again. In our opinion, anyone that is caught match-fixing, no matter what age they are, should be banned from all professional cricket for life. There is no room for it in the beautiful game.
Malta Gaming Authority Signs Deal with International Cricket Council
In April 2020, the Malta Gaming Authority entered a data sharing deal with the governing body of international cricket. Thanks to this deal the ICC and the MGA will share data with the aim of preventing match fixing and other types of manipulation that brings the beautiful game of cricket into disrepute.
The ICC, which consists of 100 governing bodies from over the world, administrates and governs international cricket tournaments, playing regulations, and have a unit that is dedicated to preventing match fixing and corruption. Antonio Zerafa, the Sports Integrity Manager at MGA, declares that this data sharing deal highlights their commitment to combating match fixing in sports. The agreement will allow them to share important data that is related to detecting and preventing activities relating to manipulation in sporting events.
Hopefully more gambling regulators will follow the Malta’s Gaming Authority’s lead and also arrange a deal with the ICC to help fight corruption and match fixing in cricket.