Indian bookies constant in global cricket corruption cases
Corruption in cricket has been hogging the headlines ever since the much-publicised match-fixing saga hit Indian cricket in the early 2000s. Some of the biggest names in cricket, including Hanse Cronje and Mohammad Azharuddin, lost their reputation for alleged involvement in corruption.
According to India Today, over the years, several top names in cricket have been banned for involvement in corrupt activities, which range from match-fixing, spot-fixing and failure to report approaches.
The latest high-profile cricketer who has been found guilty of not reporting multiple corrupt approaches is Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan. The superstar cricketer was handed a 2-year suspension for not reporting approaches from an Indian bookie, Deepak Aggarwal on at least 3 occasions in the recent past. The Indian Premier League spot-fixing case in 2012 was a shocker as some of the high-profile stars and team owners were found guilty of corruption.
All the cricket boards across the globe now have an anti-corruption cell. Bookies, according to the ICC, have started organising franchise-based leagues to make sure their business is going well and this recent phenomenon has become a major headache to apex body of world cricket. While talking about the investigation into wide-spread corruption allegations in Sri Lankan cricket, ICC Anti-Corruption General Manager Alex Marshall had said most of the bookies operating in world cricket are from India.
Mark Waugh, Warne scandal
One of the earliest betting scandals that hit the headlines involved two of Australia’s biggest superstars -- Shane Warne and Mark Waugh.
The two cricketers were found guilty of taking bribes from Indian bookmakers during Australia’s tour of Sri Lanka in 1994. It was also reported that Waugh, Warne and bowler Tim May had claimed that Pakistan cricketer Salim Malik had offered them bribes to throw matches in 1995.
Azharuddin, Cronje scandal
In April 2000, the game was brought to disrepute when Delhi police charged Hansie Cronje of match-fixing during an ODI series in India that year.
It was once again an Indian bookie, this time a businessman named Sanjay Chawla who was in touch with Cronje. After initially denying the charges, Cronje accepted to providing information regarding forecast to the bookie during the ODI series in India.
Cronje confessed to taking bribes since 1996 and also accused Mohammad Azharuddin of introducing him to an Indian bookie. Cronje said that the bookie had offered him to throw a Test match during South Africa’s tour of India in 1996.
Cairns and Lou Vincent
New Zealand cricketer Lou Vincent, who reportedly conceded he was involved in match-fixing over a long period of time, alleged that former New captain Chris Cairns had convinced him to fix matches during Indian Cricket League, the now-defunct T20 league.
Pakistan leg-spinner Danish Kaneria accepted charges of spot-fixing after years of denial in 2018. He named a bookie of Indian origin Anu Bhat and conceded the bookie had asked him to concede 12 runs in the first over of an English county game in 2009. Notably, the fixing scandal had led to the imprisonment of Kaneria’s former Essex team-mate Mervyn Westfield.
Mohammad Ashraful was banned for 8 years for his involvement in the Bangladesh Premier League spot-fixing scandal.
Ashraful revealed he had met the bookie who led him to Dhaka Gladiators’ CEO Gaurav Rawat an Indian citizen living in Myanmar. According to media reports, both Gaurav and the unnamed bookie were involved in match-fixing.