The Butts deserve the Kicks


The Pak  Cricket Trinity [the trio  in a 'spot' of bother] has enriched the English language with a new term which can be appropriately called "Spotgate" with their highly indiscreet behaviour off the field creating a furor in   the cricketing game . In fact indiscreet is too mild a term for the treason [as the incensed  Pak fans would like to call it]  just before the start of what was a 'do-or-die' encounter at the game's most  hallowed grounds.

The Scotland Yard, known for its competence, is investigating the issue so the case is in safe hands.  The other body involved is the ICC which  initially preferred to sit on the fence, became aggressive in the face of world wide uproar at the goings-on in the name of cricket. After a preliminary report the world cricket body is satisfied that there is prima facie case against the three and promptly barred them [something unknown in the annals of the game] in the face of stiff Pakistani Government's resistance. Surprisingly, the Pak Cricket Board is nowhere in the frame.

Going by the media reports, it appears that the Pak Cricket Board has been completely ignored which  shows how much the Pak Government gives it importance.  The Pak Government is  handling the issue. Ejaj who headed the Board got a kick on the Butt from his own Government. Their High Commissioner is a confused man with the googly bowled by his own countrymen. He wants to sue the ICC  but then came the story of 'marked currency notes' being found in  the Captain's room -  now it was the turn of Salman to get another kick on the Butt from the ICC. To keep his home constituency calm, as usual, the Pak envoy played  the familiar Indian card - ICC Chief Sharad Pawar and the Indian bookies being responsible for the mess. This only showed how fickle their players are.  Pak's UN envoy, on the contrary, is not on the same page.

It is now reported that the accused have confessed that they  received money from the fixer  for endorsements.  Why did they not admit it first and who pays signing money in cash anyway. From trousseau money now it has become endorsement money. But how come the endorsement money came with 'marked currency'.  The contracts, now produced, must be an after thought and that angle also needs to be probed. The Pak envoy should not have opted to defend the boys. He is making a fool of himself.

For the first time the ICC has realized, rather belatedly, that it has actually got some genuine  teeth [ and not dentures as feared] and if the same alacrity  is maintained it will not be that difficult to cleanse the gentleman's game. It's now or never. The ICC must admit that it was more concerned with the money than the game itself. It is the controlling authority of the game and it must assert itself when it matters most - something is has failed to do. Just by appointing an anti-corruption unit [ACU] it cannot sit back and relax.  What has this unit achieved anyway. It goes to every cricketing venue to ensure that everything is fine. Now that the past 82 games are to go under the scanner, what did the unit do all along.  It looks like the guys were having holidays at the expense of the ICC. If a journalist could lay a trap and expose the nexus, how competent are  the so called elite members of the ACU. Sack them !

The  Tabloid which carried out a sting operation to expose the fixer  did it with immense ease but with a professional touch - taking every care to gather proof that  will stand the test of scrutiny. They knew what the fall-out of the mission would be - literally shake the cricketing world and indeed it did. It's a challenge which the ICC must accept.

Pakistan's  peculiar ways of handling indiscipline in the ranks has baffled many.  Their team [if you can call it one ] suffers from 'trust deficit'  - may be one simply  does not trust the other. In such an atmosphere,  personal interests  overtake the national pride and with their board not being able to clean the stable, it raises doubts about its integrity as well as well as competence and even complexity.

A lot of Pak ex-cricketers, including Asif Iqbal of Sharjah fame, have suddenly woken up to berate their errant players which sounds good.  However, each and every one of them has been accused [may be guilty too] of indiscretion during their playing days. It's like the devil quoting the scriptures. Who knows it may help.

-Marshall Sequeira