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Spot-fixing slips into society very easily

A disturbing, but unsurprising, report from Pakistan about the infiltration of spot-fixing into the fabric of cricket at all levels. For all the posturing and anti-gambling hysteria from idiot politicians such as Senator Nick Xenophon in Australia, one thing is crystal clear - the more you drive gambling underground, the more crooked it becomes. Simple comparison - how often do you see betting scandals in the UK and Australia as against any part of Asia? Which one of those societies tries to force betting underground? Eastern Europe can also be considered closer to Asia than the UK/Australia because the only form of legalised betting is often via state monopolies with extortionate take-out/tax rates.

Competition, licensing, regulation and education is THE ONLY WAY to handle it. Make all companies operate on normal business principles - look after the customer or they will attempt to screw you over. Keep a tight rein over companies so they always have their finances in order. Condition them to look out for activity such as money laundering and ensure they promote responsible gambling. Society should teach kids the maths of gambling so they don't get hooked. Teach kids the ethics of always doing their best, but do not under any circumstances ban it outright and make it harder to police....

Spot-fixing: Youngsters following their idols’ footsteps

There was a time, not long ago, when youngsters idolised and tried to emulate Imran Khan and Wasim Akram, or more recently Shoaib Akhtar and Shahid Afridi, as they honed their cricketing skills playing on the streets.

It seems, however, that things have changed drastically, for the worse, because teenage cricket lovers are now following in the footsteps of tainted fast-bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir, the disgraced duo currently serving a ban from all types of cricket for their involvement in the spot-fixing saga.

Fixing matches, or at least placing bets on them as a series of festival tournaments take place across the country, is not new but the act being carried out on the streets has become a favourite pastime for many. While betting – placing money on their predicted winner – is common, cash for underperformance has now hit the streets.



Geoff Lawson once said when he was coach of Pakistan briefly that when rookie kids joined the national training squads from remote areas, they often had to be taught basic things that we in the West take for granted, like brushing their teeth. It's not difficult to extend that into a reasonable assumption that matters like integrity and always giving your best on the sporting field were part of their upbringing. Corruption in most countries is simply part of life. Western society works differently, that is plain to see. Ridding cricket of match- and spot-fixing is a much deeper issue than simply bringing in laws and harsh penalties against it. The good ol' sledgehammer to crack a nut approach will not work.

With thanks to @pier0 for the link.


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