Match Fixing and Cheating

So, John Howard is not he right person to be Vice-President and eventually Chairman of the ICCC.  No of course not, because for all of the negative things one might be able to say about the former Prime Minister of Australia, he is certainly above and beyond reproach on such matters as this.  It is remarkbale to think that more than half of the Pakistani First XI are open to bribes, that a player agent has been taped by a newspaper indicating when “no balls” would be tossed up (and they subsequently were) and the police in London having raided the players’ hotel and have come out with bags of cash DURING A TEST!

John Howard’s rightful place as Chairman of the ICCC was blocked by India, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Pakistan largely.  The ICCC role rotates and it was Australia/New Zealand’s turn to pick and they selected Howard.  Then, for the first time EVER, the Council voted against his nomination.  This was largely due to Howard’s stance against the horridly corrupt and wicked government of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe, but now one has to question the motives of the others who voted against him.  Having a man as inscrutable on the ICCC wouldn’t be good for all of the backroom shenanigans that India has been responsible for lately and now as it would appear the outright match fixing and cheating of Pakistan.  Let’s not forget, South Africa have a recent history of corruption in their cricket as well.

Alan Isaac, an accountant, who accepted the seat as the third choice (Sir John Anderson, the preferred Kiwi choice, pulled out after Howard was not elected) should resign his seat and Cricket Australia MUST demand that Howard be given this position.  The ICCC needs to be cleaned up and the game of cricket itself is getting a black eye because of the underhanded dealings of a mere few.  Howard is the man to lead this charge, he is passionate about the game and a leader of epic stature when compared to the rest of the rabble running world cricket.  Howard should be put into the top job and told to weed out everything in the game that is causing this cancer, expose it and then cut it out without prejudice.

If this can’t be done, then Cricket Australia needs to have a very hard look at itself in the mirror.  First of all, the initial slap in the face for Howard should have been enough to make Australia question its position in the ICCC.  Now, with last year’s Sydney test called into question by an obviously corrupt Pakistani team, this current Lord’s test in England under a massive cloud and filmed footage of a Pakistani player agent taking bribes for spot fixing should be enough for Cricket Australia to come to a landing on the terms of reference for Australia’s future participation in the game at the ICCC level.  

Unfortunately we’re stuck in limbo with a lame duck government, but with all of the money that gets tossed into Cricket by government and the betting that surrounds the game at the highest level, perhaps the Federal Government should step in and offer up an opinion to Cricket Australia.

My feeling is that there is far too much wrong with the administration of the game at the highest level for it to be fixed by a now incompetent and exposed ICCC.  I’d be content for Australia to have routinely organised Tests with England, New Zealand, the West Indies and even South Africa.  However, the situation with Pakistan is now untenable.  If these allegations are proven true, then that country needs to be expelled from world cricket for some time – maybe five to ten years.  You also have to question the viability of Pakistani cricket when countries like Australia fear to go there.  Perhaps this is the signal that until there is political stability and the game is cleaned up, Pakistan will not be allowed to play on the highest stage.

India has become a different type of corrupt.  The wealth in the Indian game is so massive that they have taken to effectively buying votes at the ICCC level, which is unacceptable.  The crazy situation with the IPL further demonstrates this.  

Cricket needs to establish an organisation similar to FIFA and what world football has or even the IOC.  The governing cricket body of each country is overseen by the world governing body.  The formats and schedules of the matches are set by the World body.  TV rights are negotiated with the world body and the money is distributed fairly, but also with a view to development of the game in new markets.  Having a test match in Toronto between India and Pakistan because you can’t play in Karachi is not developing world cricket.  No longer can a private club in England be the arbiter of the rules.  Things have to change or what’s left of the audience will just turn off.
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