I hear Uzbekistan is Nice

Posted by sepoy on August 29, 2010 · 1 min read

I just want to cry. And then, I want a new homeland.


Faraz | August 29, 2010

I turned on the TV first thing in the morning and this was the news I was greeted with! And sad is it may be, the first thing that came into my mind was exactly that "I want a new homeland".

jojeetawohisikandar | August 29, 2010

So What is punished prescribed by Koran for cheating and betting. If Interest payment is disallowed then cricket match fixing must be wallop of punishment.

Qalandar | August 29, 2010

One is innocent until proven guilty. So far we have allegations and hearsay, but nothing concrete barring the fact that a chap arrested for fraud has links with several Pakistan cricketers — there is nothing more for now. Second — and I do not mean to condone any corruption if in fact it has occurred here — note that the allegations are for “spot-fixing”, and limited to bowling deliberate no-balls; the News of the World story does not include any claim by Mazhar Majeed that these players were deliberately dropping catches, or throwing the match. Both are equally wrong, but both do not have the same impact on the outcome of a match (to the extent a youngster like Aamer is indeed involved, one could also see how a kid might be seduced into thinking this sort of spot-fixing is no big deal; I would be less forgiving of Asif, who is more experienced but who has already had quite a history of scandal, including one involving a banned substance).

Aligarian | August 29, 2010

King of wishful thinking

omar | August 29, 2010

This is not really surprising. Match fixing allegations have been around for years and unlike Qalandar, I believe a lot of them are true and so is this one (which is, of course, a sting operation). Of course its happened in other countries and probably still does (remember the excellent movie about the black sox scandal: what was it called, "eight men out"?) but psychologically, cricket is a bigger deal for Pakistan than those scandals.... its also the fact that cricket was already at a record low point in Pakistan and these youngsters were just starting to look like there is hope for the future. Mohammed Amir in particular was such a sensation just a couple of days ago and now this. To throw it all away like this and to be humiliated on live TV.....it still hurts. Very sad indeed. And the inevitable defensive anger will not be pleasant either (look for the inevitable lashing out against English-Zionist-Hindu conspirators from the paknationalist crowd, who will also demand death sentences for the perpetrators). This was, after all, a sting operation. But I also agree with those who think that in spite of all this is not the end of the world, the country will muddle through. My optimism (or optimistic pessimism) has recovered after a nasty 24 hours. In any case its not like one can even wish for this elite and this state to fall to a well deserved bloody revolution. The only revolution on the cards is an Islamist one and talk of a cure worse than the disease.....I hope that 5000 years of "muddling through" will hold up against this and other more concrete disasters. Its painful to be optimistic today, but its a 180 million people (over one billion if you count the inevitable fallout in India); the alternative is too horrendous to contemplate...

omar | August 29, 2010

Thats what happens when you write (and cut an paste from facebook comments) half-asleep and dont re-read. The repetitions are jarring. Sorry about that...

Qalandar | August 30, 2010

Omar: I never said I didn't believe that a lot of the match fixing allegations were or were not true, simply that I was inclined to wait until we had more facts, evidence, etc. [I might add that what is involved in these particular allegations is SPOT fixing and not MATCH fixing.] Especially, in Pakistan and among Pakistani cricket fans, it is important to recognize that match-fixing functions as both wound and balm, enabling any number of cricketing defeats (especially to India) to be explained away (the victories, interestingly enough, are never accounted for, and this is so even after the whole Sharjah enterprise fell into grave disrepute) -- perhaps one can't be surprised at that given the cynicism surrounding the issue, but at least since Asif Iqbal's captaincy was ruined by a series loss in India in 1981(?) (his status as an adult migrant to Pakistan from India, and hence the specter of divided loyalties, was an uncomfortable subtext to the whole affair), we should be careful in deploying the sword of corruption. I'm not trying to be an ostrich, but there is another side to it.

tsk | August 30, 2010

say it ain't so!

omar | August 31, 2010

No surprise, but the shameless cricket board is hanging on. Ijaz Butt is Ahmed Mukhtar's (Defence minister) brother in law, so I guess "uss ka killa mazboot hai". I wonder if Zardari collects a cut from this or does Dawood Ibrahim only share it with his chums in the ISI?

Qalandar | August 31, 2010

Geoff Lawson and Ramiz on Aamer: http://www.cricinfo.com/england-v-pakistan-2010/content/current/story/475154.html ...and Mazhar Majeed is now free. I mean, clearly not everything is lily-white here, but if there is insufficient evidence to press charges against a man caught on camera boasting about fixing matches (see http://www.cricinfo.com/england-v-pakistan-2010/content/current/story/475246.html) then it seems unlikely that there will be enough evidence against the likes of asif and aamer. In such circumstances, I cannot subscribe to the mentality that has loudly been chorusing "ban them all, for life", irrespective of proof. [Gavaskar ratcheted up the rhetoric on NDTV yesterday by saying all cricketers found guilty of any kind of fixing should have their records expunged in addition to any bans; then kinda looked silly by explaining how this would work at the level of scoreboards.]

Qalandar | August 31, 2010

The best take so far IMO has been by Gideon Haigh: http://www.chapatimystery.com/archives/475153.html

sepoy | August 31, 2010

Qalandar, you done cured me of my knee-jerk response.

omar | August 31, 2010

Qalandar, you may be misreading Mazhar's release. Last I saw, he was going to be charged and so are other people. But the wheels of justice grind slowly... By strictly legal logic, nobody is guilty until proven in a court of law, but we are not only concerned with proof in a court of law. The video evidence in this case is very damning. That does not necessarily mean it will lead to convictions. There will be NO satisfactory explanation for the no-balls, but even so, no crime is committed unless bets were placed and bettors suffered loss as a result of the fixing. So dont confuse the legal status with the public humiliation and the damage to cricket and to careers that has occurred and will continue.... btw, the inevitable crowing and grandstanding in the Indian media and the inevitable defensive anger and bitterness in Pakistan also count as fallout. And I dont see how Amir and Asif will survive this mess... Even without a conviction in a court of law, the consequences are not looking good.

s | August 31, 2010

but they earn a lot already through ads, why would they need this? how much more would they want?

Qalandar | August 31, 2010

Re: "...the inevitable crowing and grandstanding in the Indian media..." Hmm, I doubt it; or, it will be short-lived (not to say that such short-sightedness is beyond crowers): NDTV and CNN-IBN reported on the Indian bookie connection, and anyone who thinks spot-fixing ISN'T a scandal-in-the-making in the IPL is probably living in fantasy land. [Vague allegations to that effect have already been made about the ICL and IPL.]

Qalandar | August 31, 2010

PS -- to be fair, at least the former players (like Kumble) have been circumspect about singling out one country (as well they might: Hansie Cronje, Kapil Dev, Azharuddin, Prabhakar, and Salim Malik do not, after all, share any passport). That being said, I have little doubt that had Pakistan made an example out of players of the stature of Kapil, Azhar etc. years ago, they would likely be in a better position today (even the Mazhar Majeed video does feature him saying that match-fixing is a lot more difficult than it used to be). PPS -- this whole affair reminded me of the CBI transcripts of that famous bookie from years ago (Ajay Sharma? don't recall his name), wherein the bookie said that the best fixed matches were the ones were neither player on either team was aware of anything -- he cited Tendulkar's first match as captain as an example, where he claimed that it was groundstaff that had been bribed to prepare a sub-standard pitch for the India/Australia test in Delhi. The relevant betters in that instance apparently didn't care who won, as money was riding on how many days the test match would be completed in; even in the best of circumstances the Kotla pitch crumbles as the game wears on, so unless one were in the know, nothing about the match scorecard would signal anything was amiss: http://www.chapatimystery.com/archives/63721.html

Qalandar | August 31, 2010

Typo: meant to say "...no player on either team..."

Qalandar | September 01, 2010

S: that is true in general for the major stars, but as far as a Muhammad Aamer is concerned, that is more a question of what he will make than what he has made. And then, given the horrible way in which the cricket board discards bowlers once they are injured or once a new bowler shows up from the country's fast bowling assembly line, no-one can feel very secure (when even Waqar Younis was treated shabbily, 'nuff said. Who remembers where Aamir Nazir, Muhammad Akram, Shabbir Ahmed, etc. etc. are today?). I am reminded yet again of the CBI bookie transcripts references above, where the gentleman being interrogated quoted Azharuddin telling him (referring to Sachin Tendulkar in choice language) that the !@#$#@ earns crores through ads, and won't let me make a little bit of money [i.e. by fixing matches!] Amazing sense of entitlement, really, but I am sure that must have been part of the Salim malik mindset too (i.e. envious at the glamour-driven endorsement bonanza of a guy like Wasim Akram). Aside: of all the match-fixing scandals, the one I find the least forgivable, absolutely the least, was the Wasim Akram one (and Waqar if he were involved; I personally was always more skeptical of his involvement). This guy had glamor, endorsements, money, AND (unlike an aamer) appears to have come to match-fixing AFTER he attained all of those.

omar | September 01, 2010

I think that is the core of the problem with Pakistan's scandal: the board. The country has become so thoroughly corrupt that unlike the South African board (or the Indian board for that matter), the board is not even giving the appearance of cleaning up....The current manager and coach and whatnot have all had allegations in the past and they are all on the job. The person representing the government in England is the high commissioner Wajid Shams ul Hasan, who was basically corrupt Benazir's bagman. The fish is rotting from the head....

rama | September 03, 2010

why abandon the homeland to get a new one? why not boot out the vermin from the homeland?

Aijaz | September 04, 2010

I don't want a new home. I just want it cleaned up. Vote for me.

Qalandar | September 04, 2010

Omar: moreover, it is deeply deeply disappointing to see the PCB and government go down the conspiracy theory-route: The Pakistan High Commissioner in the UK has been all but saying that the whole thing is a conspiracy with an Indian hand; and has blamed Pawar for the suspension of the three Pakistan players. Most Pakistanis I know do not buy this at all (some do, if the cricinfo message boards are any indication), let alone people from other countries. It's outrageously cynical, as well as unkind to the old horse, to flog it on this occasion too...

omar | September 04, 2010

Qalandar, that was exactly my point. There is a tendency among good people to take a fair view, innocent until guilty and so on. But this is the Pakistan cricket team. The board is corrupt from top to bottom. Look at the latest from Yasir Hameed and how scared he now is and how he is trying to wriggle out of it. In a different world, this would have led to the board firing a few people, suspending some players and generally cleaning house. But the red death is already in the house. Cleaning up is not on their agenda...

omar | September 04, 2010

btw, after this and other revelations (http://www.newsoftheworld.co.uk/news/942398/How-the-Pakistan-cricket-match-fixing-investigation-started-with-a-tip-off.html) do you still want to play the "innocent until proven guilty" game? This is not about a court case. Its about the credibility of Pakistani cricket...and that crook Wajid Shamsul Hasan was absolutely the wrong person to put in charge of this scandal. I am no fan of Imran Khan's Taliban sympathies and PMA level worldview, but he is not corrupt and would have been a good person to clean up this mess. This will get worse....

Qalandar | September 12, 2010

It didn't take long for my suspicions about the spot-fixing opportunities offered by the IPL to be borne out (at least at the level of allegations): http://cricket.ndtv.com/storypage.aspx?id=SPOEN20100152947&nid=51475