The fact that it doesn’t come as a big shock

is the most shocking thing.

Many have stated their shock at the news that a middle man has been arrested after allegedly taking £150,000 to fix three no-balls from Pakistan bowlers in the recent test match against England at Lord’s.

Is it really shocking that this is still going on? Especially for spot betting about little nothings such as no-balls, which are very easy to fix with one or two players. The captain, Salman Butt, has been implicated but the captain doesn’t even really need to be involved, it’s pretty obvious who is going to open the bowling, so who will be bowling the odd and even number overs. So it can be down to one player.

If a certain other player had been involved it would have been easier as nearly all his deliveries have been no-balls *cough*chucker*cough*. 😉

Should we be surprised it’s Pakistan? No. It’s a corrupt country – do you really know where your aid money is going? – their cricket board is a shambles and the players don’t know whether they are coming or going. Who knows if they’ll be in the next squad, they certainly don’t. A lot of them are from very poor backgrounds and as Jonathan Agnew stated this morning on TMS how it was explained to him how easy it is for a youngster to get trapped up in this sort of thing and before he knows it is up to his neck.

Easy in those situations to take the money when it’s in big bundles and right there in front of you.

As for the actual events, I missed them as they happened but it was mentioned on both TV & radio at the time because they were so blatant no-balls. Funnily watching a little later I noticed that Mohammad Asif’s front foot was a mile behind the crease when he delivered the ball. I did at the time wonder why, I know some can have trouble at Lord’s but as I couldn’t remember any talk of him struggling with his run up and overstepping the mark enough requiring him to go to the other extreme, it did seem over cautious at best.

So a shock? No but a shame, especially for the kid Mohammad Amir. He’d just became the youngest player to take 50 test wickets. He’s a hell of a talent, can really make the ball talk with both swing and seem, no surprise that he was named the Pakistan man of the series, it was well deserved. Asif also has the game for English conditions, hell of a languid action as well, both of them you’d think would be perfect additions to any county, if they weren’t Pakistan internationals so liable to disappear at any point.

So a few no-balls have tarnished the last test and so probably the whole series, you start thinking about other things, if you hadn’t actually been doing so for a time. I mean all those dropped catches, batting collapses. Look a bit dodgy now don’t they?

Have to ask where this leaves Pakistan cricket? I mean nobody will be touring there for a time and when you add in the fact that they struggled to sell tickets for the games against Australia and England over here for the test matches – leaving grounds out of pocket – and carry around this corruption baggage, who’ll want to act as their hosts?

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