So Mohammed Amir and Mohammed Asif bowl no-balls on demand and Salman Butt, as the captain, butts them a few buts. Big deal. I don’t get what the uproar is all about honestly. If you have a white tiger in your zoo, you don’t expect it to smell of fresh roses– now do you? Then why for crying out loud do you expect players of a country that siphons off relief money, a country whose entire team has been shown to be corrupt by Justice Qauyyum, where all the players (save those at the end of their careers and hence worthless) proven to be crooks by their own legal system were let go with minor raps on the knuckles, to be as honest as Manoj Kumar? Of course they are as bent as the proverbial fiddler’s elbow (or as they say in Pakistan as bent as Shoaib Akthar’s arm at moment of delivery) and we all love them for it. So I say well-done Amir-Asif for reminding us once again as to the gentle delights that Pakistan brings to the world of cricket.
What? You say they have cheated? I don’t think anyone can claim to have been defrauded here unless that person is Zardari (last in the news for not paying the government of Turkey USD 8000 for four female “guides” supplied to him for “educational” purpose). He is the only one who has been hard-done by, having been deprived of his ten-per-cent per-transaction cut. And he has realized that too, asking for a detailed probe into the whole incident [Link] showing the same alacrity and seriousness with which he investigated the 26/11 attacks.
Spot-fixing is of course a term that many people are still not familiar with. A very simple way to explain it to children of the 80s would be to think of Gold Spot where the “gold” is actually real. In spot betting, rather than betting on the results of entire matches, people bet on the results of certain events—like what religion will Mohammed Yousuf belong to today, what type of organism is growing in Akthar’s nether regions, whether Afridi will bite the ball in the morning or in post-tea session or how many rules of English grammer would Inzamam Ul Haq break in his post-match speech or which room would the coach’s dead body be found in or when in the evening would Younis Khan announce his retirement or when at night would Shoaib Malik….well you get the picture. Now unscrupulous bookies (there is but one kind) try to rip off people by fixing these events beforehand by colluding with players.
In this case, as the headlines “Three Balls That Shook The World” cry out, a bookie was caught fixing, beyond a room for doubt, no-balls being bowled by Mohammed Amir and Mohammed Asif (Danish Kaneria [also known in some quarters as the Danish cartoon] had been caught spot-fixing a few months ago in England). What of course made me delighted was the respect with which the bookie spoke to one of the world’s most excited cricketers and how, like a Pakistani lion, he roared loudly in response.
Majeed then explained that the third no-ball would come in the first over that teen wonder boy Amir got to deliver to an England right-hander, after one of the opening two left-handers had been dismissed.
Just to convince us Amir was onside Majeed telephoned the young star at his hotel. “Are you sleeping f***er?” he asked crudely. Amir confirmed that’s what he was trying to do.
“Ok, sleep,” said Majeed. “We’ve spoken about everything before anyway. Ok, don’t mind. You sleep’
Now people here know how much I am in awe of Mohammed Asif. He is the kind of Pakistani cricketer I grew up admiring—- supremely talented on the field and even more talented off it, storing more drugs in his travel bag than a Pfizer godown and playing models like Veena Malik (She has spilled the beans on her ex-dilrooba here) like a Veena (he evidently took money from her and didnt return it). In short, total stud. Not like our wannabes like Sreesanth and Munaf Darling, who despite their best attempts, will never even come close to Asif in any respect—– pace, swing or cut.
Of late though, I had taken a keen interest in the prodigious Mohammed Amir. At age 18, he shows every potential to be one of the world’s leading pace-bowlers. With this incident, he has shown conclusively that he is a chip off the old Pakistani block, someone who even at such a tender age, has mastered the dual art of slipping deliveries through batsman’s defenses and currency notes inside his pocket, with the kind of flair that is oh so typically Pakistan.
You know what would shock me though? If the Pakistani media does not blame this on the “Hinduyon ki zehniyat” and the Jewish-Hindu conspiracy, or the Pakistani board does not do a few eye-wash slaps on Salman’s Butt and then business is resumed as normal or if Asif and Amir are not made to contribute to the Pakistani Prime Minister’s Relief Fund or if Javed Miandad (whose samdhiji is the Bill Gates of betting) does not point fingers at India regarding match-fixing or if the Kolkata Knight Riders does not keep wringing their hands as to why the IPL, a tournament of great probity and transparency, needs the Pakistanis to bring in their expertise and skill to the league.
But till that happens, I am fine. I am happy. And all is right with the world.