Unfortunately, there are forces operating in the shadows of the sport that attempt to rig match results and, in doing so, remove the competitiveness that is at the heart of what makes a match worthwhile to watch.
These bookies and fixers aim to bribe players to underperform during the match. They can gamble and place wagers with certain high returns because of the prior information.
The following is a list of five match-fixing scandals that shocked the cricket world.
● Mohammad Azharuddin
In 1985, Azharuddin made his mark on cricket by scoring three consecutive centuries in his first three Test matches. He captained India and became one of the country’s top captains.
Following the match-fixing scandal involving Hansie Cronje, he issued a statement in June 2000, revealing that Azharuddin had introduced him to a bookie who offered him money during South Africa’s tour to India.
Azharuddin allegedly confessed to manipulating matches in 1996, 1997, and 1999 during a CBI inquiry but afterwards denied being part of any such behaviour in an interview. BCCI convicted Azharuddin guilty of match-fixing in November 2000 and banned him for life.
● Hansie Cronje
In 2000, Delhi Police disclosed that they had recorded shady conversations between Sanjay Chawla and Hansie Cronje, causing one of the largest match-fixing scandals in cricket to upset the entire cricket establishment.
Cronje was a popular and well-liked South African cricketer. However, his relationship with Sanjay Chawla (a well-known member of the Indian betting syndicate) sparked controversy.
Cronje first rejected all match-fixing claims, but he later sobbed during cross-examination. In the end, Hansie Cronje was facing a lifetime ban from cricket. Cronje died in a plane crash in 2002, prompting conspiracy allegations that he was killed.
● S. Sreesanth
He was a right-arm fast-medium-pace bowler who also played right-handed tail-ender for Kerala and Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League. He’s also the first Kerala Ranji cricketer to represent India in Twenty20 cricket.
Sreesanth and two of his Rajasthan Royals teammates, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan, were detained by Delhi police on suspicion of spot-fixing during the IPL 6 on May 16, 2013. Sreesanth’s cousin and an under-22 Gujarat player, Jiju Janardhan, is another crucial individual accused of spot-fixing. Sreesanth, on the other hand, has maintained his innocence and claims that he was coerced into signing confession statements.
● Saleem Malik
Saleem Malik, the legendary middle-order batsman, will go down in cricket history as the first cricketer to be imprisoned for his betting connections. He was one of the few players who could effortlessly navigate Shane Warne’s turn. For match-fixing, he was the first player to be banned from all aspects of the game.
Justice Qayyum’s investigation led to his conviction. Malik tried to persuade players like Mark Waugh and Shane Warne to throw away the 1994-95 Karachi Test, according to later testimony.
In 2001, he challenged the prohibition, but the Lahore High Court dismissed his appeal.
● Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif & Mohammad Amir
In 2010, a sting operation by the News of the World exposed players from Pakistan’s national cricket team accepting money from a bookmaker named Mazhar Majeed in exchange for playing no-balls.
The ICC ruled three players guilty and banned them for 5 to 10 years: Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif, and Mohammad Amir.
They were also sentenced to 6 to 32 months in prison in 2011 on accusations of conspiracy and intentionally playing no-ball in Test matches.