Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Cricket Song of Corruption

Please read article on yahoo.ca:


It appears that the game of cricket has gone afoul in Pakistan and that the team faces serious charges of match-fixing and corruption. While even insinuating that there might be something dirty about this beloved game would be enough to make an Englishman drop his scones, you might be wondering why North America should care about this odd bit of news.

On the one hand, the completely incomprehensible to North Americans game of cricket is an international sport, and a much loved one at that, which is reason enough to acknowledge it. On the other hand, the fact that the team captain of Pakistan's name is Salman Butt and that he agreed to throw matches by not having balls is absolutely, immaturely, hilarious.

Furthermore, North America is not immune to scandals in sports, not even match fixing, as has been famously recorded in history during the 1919 Black Sox Scandal. Entire teams can be corrupted, and when the take is bigger to throw a match than it is to win it, you don't need mathematicians and behavioural psychologists on the case.

The real issue has to do now with repercussions for the sport. How should the crime be punished if the crime is proven? And should the body that governs the sport be considered fit to deliver the punishment, considering that it wasn't even aware of the crime? Because it wasn't the international governing body that uncovered this scandal, but rather, gossip magazines, who never shy away from a juicy story filled with scandal and greed and hopefully someone sleeping with someone else's mistress. They're only 2 for 3 on this story, but it's still early on in the game and someone may still get lucky.

It appears the governning body has either been lax in this matter, or worse, complicit. Until they're in the clear, they probably shouldn't be the voice of justice in this case.

The Pakistan cricket club will suffer a black eye in any case as a result of this story. Is it fair, though, to paint the whole nation with the same brush? Will the game of cricket deliver ultimate judgement by depriving the Pakistani nation of the great game of cricket?

If North American sports scandals and films have taught me anything about sports and corruption, it's that there's always room for a comeback. There's always an opportunity to wipe the slate clean and wash out the bitter taste of seasons past and move on to a new one. It's also possible, with time, to rehabilitate the image of a scarred team and to polish the name clean and restore it to its old glory. And even when a team falls into the proverbial basement standings of them all and disappoints their fans season after season, there's still a chance for that team to be loved.

Isn't that right, Leafs Nation?

1 comment:

  1. I Concur with you. Many people would like to single out the sub-continent teams, but this cancer has spread around the world in all forms of sport especially the big money spinners. It needs to be eradicated. Just how that will take place is the question. It certainly will not be a painless process. I discuss this matter on my blog http://indoorputtinggreens-topchoice.blogspot.com/p/blog-posts.html. I would like comments on there to enable me to draw an informed conclusion.