Blame it on ICC

Bob Woolmer is dead. On 18th March we were told by the Jamaican police that Woolmer died. That he had a broken neck didn't require any detailed pathology or toxicology test. The cops knew it; Woolmer was murdered.

ICC has to take the responsibility for Woolmer's death. When I say ICC, I mean all the members. That a high profile cricket coach was murdered during a World Cup says a lot about the lack of security. After Pakistan lost the game against Ireland and were out of the World Cup, ICC high priests should have done enough to protect Woolmer's life.

ICC is to be blamed for where cricket is today. I am sure there will be a certain group in the ICC, which would want to blame the sub-continent for the ills that plague the game - namely betting.

The other day I was watching BBC's programme Peschardt's People. Michael Peschardt was talking to Australian cricket legend Rodney Marsh.

Marsh made a very significant point that it was ECB (then TCCB) - the English cricket board, which brought bookies and betting to the cricket ground. Clue: Ladbrokes

Even, part of the house of Wisden, carries Betting odds and even gives tips on betting. Clue: More Money!

Most people think Match Fixing means the result of the game is fixed. What we need to understand is about "spread betting" in cricket.

Everyone, including the big boys at ICC, knows it too well that Spread Betting related fixing is part of the game these days. It started a long time back. Clue: Hansie Cronje, Mohd Azharuddin, Salim Malik.

When Cronje was caught with his hand in the jam jar, no one really bothered to ask how much Bob Wooolmer knew about it. It would have been extremely difficult for Cronje to fix games by keeping Woolmer in the dark.

After Cronje was names, shamed and thrown out of the game, it was Woolmer who wanted Cronje to be brought back. I am not showing any disrespect to the murdered man, but trying to prove where ICC got it all so wrong. In July 2001, Woolmer made it very clear that "everybody should be trying to rehabilitate him."

ICC was more than happy naming a few, kicking them out and making it look like they have done enough to get rid of the criminal elements in the game.

Some of the illustrious names that were linked to match fixing (forget the pitch information and weather details) soon became household names - as TV commentators. I have always been shocked to see some of them providing pitch report - analysing the game and what not!

Were they still communicating with the bookies?

The onus is not on the media or the common people to prove that there has been fixing.
Remember the massive six Inzi hit off Justin Ontong at Tangiers in the game against South Africa? After watching the ball sail over the mid-wicket fence, Inzi casually trod back onto his stumps - and got himself out hit-wicket. It was a very suspect moment in the history of the game.

After the match, Inzamam was quoted having said this:

"It was just one of those incidents that one would like to forget as early as possible. But I must admit that it has not been easy to forget it also because Pakistan lost the game and were out of the tournament. As an experienced batsman, you shouldn't make these silly mistakes. But then that's part of the game and I hope I don't make it a habit,"
Yeah, ICC and the Anti Corruption Unit did not forget it that easy. Morocco was wiped out of the ICC map.
We are told that the ACU has a good idea about what is going on.

Pakistani cricketers were reminded of International Cricket Council’s (ICCs) plans to implement tough anti-corruption measures during the World Cup when members of the ICC Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) paid a visit to the team hotel in Trinidad on Saturday (03 March 2007).
What did they know, which made the ACU visit the Pakistan team in West Indies, just before the start of the World Cup?
Did ACU pay a visit to all the other teams as well?

ICC has not done enough to stamp out the menace of fixing.

There is so much of pressure from Television, who bring all the money into the game.

When Steve Waugh's Australia visited India - in the ODI played at Vizag, India were slow to complete the 50 overs. According to my watch, India should have been docked a minimum of four overs. During the lunch break, I saw Cammie Smith, the ICC match referee walking towards his cabin. I asked him quite casually, why India was not penalised. His answer was quite shocking: "Tv wants full 50 overs."

Thats the kind of pressure even administrators face from big money.

When the two Pakistani players were caught doping (thanks to Woolmer's initiative as a pre-emptive strike), ICC failed to ban those players; proving how spineless the governing body is.

Cricket has to learn from how Football Administration in Europe works.

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