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Biggest Match Fixing Scandals in India

India has a great many different national sports that make it a great competitive country. One sport in particular has gotten world renowned and very popular, Cricket. With the start of televised events and a much larger following, cricket has ultimately become the center of attention in many respects when it comes to the Indian population. With every competitive sport that comes with strings tied to bookmakers and sports betting, there will always be a certain degree of greed that will make players or umpires make decisions they could come to regret. India has certainly had its share of scandals revolving around match fixing, especially in the world of cricket.

Indian Bookmakers

Most of the time there are illegal Indian bookies involved in these scandals. There are several assumptions that in the past, these bookies were paying for information that should have been kept secret. During the 1990’s there were several incidents, which were later revealed by the Central Bureau of Investigation, which sparked future scandals.

• In 1993, the CBI had filed a report indicating that an Indian bookmaker has bribed an Indian umpire into collecting information about the pitch before the India-England one-day series.
• In 1996, another bookmaker had paid a grounds man to leave the pitch under-prepared for an India-Australia Test match being played in Delhi that year.
• In 1998, an Indian bookmaker was caught bribing Shane Warne and Mark Waugh, Australian cricketers, into revealing information about the weather and pitch. For this, these two players were penalized by the Australian Cricket Board.

This seemed to be common grounds for Indian bookies back in the 90’s, and it sparked even bigger and more egregious acts (bookies of course being land-based and not online bookmakers, which are trust worthy in today’s day and age).

Hansie Cronje Scandal

Selling information about the pitch and weather is certainly bad, but what came afterwards was even worse. It all started on April 7th, 2000, when the Delhi police released a recording they had between Hansie Cronje and a representative of an Indian betting syndicate, Sanjay Chawla. This sparked controversy all over the cricket world, especially after more names and deeds were revealed along the way. Cronje denied all of the allegations against him, but a few days later he was caught confessing to Ali Bacher of a limited involvement. This if course got him sacked from being captain of the team.

He later admitted to receiving a payment of $10,000 to $15,000 from a London-based bookmaker for forecasting results, but not for match fixing. After a few months, in June Cronje revealed that he had been paid in 1996 a sum of $30,000 to persuade the South Africans to lose wickets and lose the match. This lead to him opening up and talking about this more current involvement.

During the 2000 debacle, he named several other sport players, Herschelle Gibbs, Nicky, Boje, and Pieter Strydom as also being implicated in match fixing. During the 2000 Centurion Test, Sanjay contacted him again, asking him to fix a match. He was later offered $140,000 for the fifth ODI if Gibbs scored under 20. The consequences for their actions led Gibbs and Williams to be suspended from cricket for 6 months while Cronje was banned playing or coaching cricket for life. Cronje continued to battle, stating that none of it was true, until the day he died in a plane crash on the 1st of June, 2002.

Marlon Samuels’ Bowling

Marlon Samuels is a West Indian cricketer, and he plays as a batsman. During his performance during the 1st ODI between the West Indies and India in Nagpur in 2007, he was suspected of having sold team information to a renowned bookmaker. As a result from his actions with the bookmaker, he was forced into a two-year ban by the International Cricket Council in May, 2007. It did not stop there for Samuels, as he was then suspended from bowling in international cricket in February of 2008. From this, Samuels bowling has been deemed ‘suspect’ and he would need to correct his bowling actions before he was allowed to return.

He has remained adamant about his innocence, although nothing has been proven to the contrary. After his two-year ban was lifted, he returned to cricket in his home country of Jamaica. It was in 2011 that he decided to branch out and start fresh. It seemed a little controversial that he would end up in India, the country he was spot-fixing for. He is now currently playing as a batsman for the Pune Warriors India, and seemed to have cleaned up his bowling.

They certainly aren’t the only cricketers to get caught up on controversy  See this list of cricketers banned for match fixing.

Indian Hockey Controversy

Field hockey is actually a big sport in India, even if many do not know this. There has hardly been any controversy surrounding this sports, except when recently in 2011, former coach Harendra Singh accused former captain and teammate, Pargat Singh, of match-fixing. He told reporters that during his time as captain during the 1992 and 1996 Olympics, that he would go and ‘ask players not to score’. The ironic part of this whole story is that Pargat is now the chairman of Hockey India’s development committee. Many are still speculating whether these allegations are true or not. This goes to show that even years after, the past can still come back to bite you.