As I was rather snowed under at the time, I didn’t write much on the Pakistani spot fixing scandal, and it seemed that enough had been written since to make any words of mine superfluous (there are some great opinion pieces to be found after that link). However, I was reading the Wisden Cricketer this morning and came across this article. What a slap in the face the whole saga must have been for the English Cricket Board and the MCC, given all they had tried to do for Pakistani cricket!! Reading this excerpt:
There are only 10 full members of the ICC. We must have an outstanding Pakistan team – experienced and confident – as part of our rich international landscape, with a vibrant domestic game. It is remarkable what Ijaz Butt and his colleagues at the PCB have done – let alone the achievements of Salman Butt and his players – under immensely difficult circumstances.
and then Ijaz Butt’s arrogant and downright dishonest comments is poignant indeed! It is in character though, witness his slandering of Chris Broad after the Lahore atrocities, and makes you wonder how Butt could be trusted to run a 711, let alone a cricket board. I really feel for Giles Clarke especially. Whatever faults he has had as an administrator, he cannot be faulted for his selfless attempts to aid Pakistan cricket in this time of need.
But, it is not just the ECB that has been betrayed. Match fixing is a betrayal of the fans who invest their money, and far more importantly, their dreams in the sport they love and the players they idolise. That is a sacred trust and it has been broken by an establishment that exists to serve itself, not the game.