Cricket is always considered a gentleman’s game. The matches played attract a lot of audiences. They spend thousands of rupees to watch their favorite stars in action on the cricket field. But this game has also tarnished the image of few players as well as cricket. The reason being some unethical practices on and off the cricket field. Here we bring to you the top 6 cricket match-fixing scandals which have been in news and shocked the world.
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Top 6 Biggest Match Fixing Scandals In Cricket
Hansie Cronje Match Fixing Scandal
Hansie Cronje was one of the best players from South Africa. Cronje’s bright cricket career collapsed in the year 2000 due to his involvement in match-fixing. The incident took place when South Africa toured India in the year 2000. Delhi police crime cell intercepted a phone call between Hansie Cronje and bookie Sanjay Chawla. South African board denied any allegation initially but a day after Hansie Cronje admitted unethical practices.
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He was sacked from the captaincy after 3 days. Few other player’s names, like Herschelle Gibbs, Nicky Boje, and Pieter Strydom also surfaced. Cronje faced a lifetime ban by cricket South Africa on 11th October. The other players were got away with a few month’s ban. Later, Cronje died in a private plane crash in 2002.
Mohammad Azharuddin scandal
One of the famous match-fixing scandals in India was Mohammad Azharuddin’s relation with bookies in the year 2000. He was one of the most prolific middle-order batsmen in the country. But an incident destroyed his cricket career forever. He was charged with match-fixing. The incident involved him providing the information of Bookie Sanjay Chawla to South Africa captain Hansie Cronje. Later, Azharuddin was found guilty. He faced a lifetime ban by the BCCI. On Nov 8th, 2012, the Andhra Pradesh High court declared the ban illegal.
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Salim Malik Match-fixing scandal
Salim Malik was one of the best cricketers who have ever played cricket for Pakistan. But his glorious cricket career was cut short when he was found guilty of match-fixing. After judicial inquiry in the year 2000, he was banned for life. This famous match-fixing incident happened in the year 1995 when Australia toured Pakistan. Shane Warne, Mark Waugh, and Tim May from Australia had accused him of offering bribes to underperform during the match.
Pakistan spot-fixing scandal (2010)
In 2010, the ICC suspended Pakistani cricketer, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Asif, and Salman Butt on account of spot-fixing. It was during a test match against England at Lord’s in August 2010. The trio was charged with having a connection with a bookie named Mazhar Majeed for doing some spot-fixing activities. The three players faced bans by the ICC ranging from 5 years to 10 years.
Indian premier league fixing (2013)
The 2013 Indian Premier League spot-fixing and betting case arose when three cricketers, S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila, and Ankeet Chavan were arrested by Delhi Police on the charges of spot-fixing. All three players were part of the Rajasthan Royals. They were arrested along with 11 bookies. One of the bookies, Jiju Janardhanan was believed to be Sreesanth’s cousin.
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After the arrest, all these players were immediately suspended by the BCCI pending investigations. Later, the BCCI pronounced its verdict resulting in a lifetime ban from cricket for all these 3 players. In March 2019, the Supreme Court of India set aside his lifetime ban. The BCCI then reduced his ban to 7 years, and he was free to play cricket from September 13th, 2020.
Sandpaper gate (2018)
In 2018, a ball-tampering scandal surfaced in the Australian cricket team. The incident happened during the third match against South Africa in Cape Town. Cameron Bancroft, the Australian player, was caught by TV cameras attempting to harsh up one side of the ball with sandpaper to create it swing in flight.
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Immediately after the incident got televised, Steve Smith and David Warner, the captain and vice-captain of the team stepped down from their post. Australia’s coach Darren Lehmann said that he would step down from his position taking full responsibility.
Smith and Warner were given a 1-year ban. Cameron Bancroft was prohibited for 9 months. Both Smith and Warner were also banned from being the captain of Australia forever. This incident tarnished the image of cricket Australia forever.